Monday, February 05, 2007

U.S. Media Turning Thumbs Down on Anti-Ahmadinejad Ads

Straddling The Line Between Political Content and Muzzling Jewish Advocates
The party line could go something like this: Sure, we despise Mahmoud Ahmadinejad just like the next guy, but we can't be seen taking sides.
And so it goes at some 40 U.S. media organizations, which the Jerusalem Post reports have rejected banner ads from the World Zionist Organization and Israel-based Jewish Agency, which promotes Jewish emigration to Israel, of warning about the all-too-apparent paralells between Iran's leader and Hitler circa 1938.
The problem: these news sites don't want to be infected with political and advocacy statements for fear of compromising their mission of covering both sides of a story. Fair enough.
Of course, you could argue, as the WZO does, that a campaign against hatred and anti-Semitism hardly qualifies as a political statement. But there you have it.
What remains to be seen, however, is whether this was a blanket rejection or the lack of due diligence by Network Solutions, which attempted to place the ads.
As the article notes, Village Voice publisher Michael Cohen, whose publication -- even in its watered-down form --was unlikely to reject the ad for the simple reason that "sales representatives work based on commission and it is in their interest to sell as much ad space as possible."
Which is why, in this age of shrunken media profits, you'd be surprised anyone would reject the ad at all, unless someone is so hellbent on not alienating that all important fundamentalist, Jew-hating Iranian demographic. You know how they can get.

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