Group Hangs Up on Celebrity Robocalls

Prerecorded political messages from stars irk many voters
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2008 12:49 PM CDT
Scarlett Johansson wants to whisper in your ear, probably about Barack Obama.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
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(Newser) – Not everyone is starstruck by phone calls from Jack Nicholson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jay-Z, or Scarlett Johansson. The appeals to get out and vote are prerecorded messages known as "robocalls," which have become the cheapest and most popular form of political advertising, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Now a DC group is attempting to disconnect them.

The national Do Not Call registry exempts political ads, which are considered free speech. One robocall proponent calls the effort to limit them "a misguided attack," but voters who want to eat dinner without being interrupted by Chris Rock disagree. "We don't want an outright ban, but citizens have a right to privacy," says the group's founder. "If someone wants to opt out, he should be allowed to do it."