Post Waste

AMERICAblog has a follow-up to the WaPo’s anti-gay advertising insert here. (If you still haven’t seen it, is now hosting the zipped file—click here to download.) I honestly don’t have the time to dedicate to writing the rant and rave the Post’s response truly deserves. Check out John’s post to see some of the other disgusting myths about gay men perpetrated by one of the insert’s authors. Briefly, however:

"We will not allow something hateful to go in the paper," Post Publisher Boisfeuillet Jones Jr. said, indicating he did not believe this incident involved a hateful message. "Gay marriage is a public issue and matter of public debate, and we believed its point of view has a right to be expressed."
First of all, nice name.

Secondly, this statement is entirely different than the suggestion (made pitifully by Marc Rosenberg, manager of corporate and public policy advertising for the Post) that it's simply an advertisement. Saying that the content of that insert was a point of view that has a right to be expressed arguably falls just short of an explicit endorsement of the expressed opinion. There's no debate, however, that the statement breathes legitimacy into the claims of the insert. Sure, I believe someone has the right to express the opinion that Mars is populated by giant green apes, but if I publish a periodical that has any integrity, I don't give that person space (paid or otherwise) to advance such ludicrous claims.
Post Ombudsman Mike Getler: "They might have insisted more that this be in a format that was clearly not a magazine. You could argue that the disclosure could have been larger. But the Post did not commit a sin by accepting it."
Interesting wording, 'commit a sin.' I sincerely doubt that anyone wrote to the Post accusing them of sinning; rather, it was likely that, like myself, people wrote demanding an explanation for the printing and distribution of what amounted to glorified propaganda. I’m curious whether the Post would have considered it a sin to reject the incoherent ramblings of this "Christian" group and their obvious agenda. Doesn't this strike anyone else as a particularly odd word choice to invoke in their defense of this piece? I find it highly disturbing that the ombudsman would use the language of the group advancing this anti-gay message in his response to complaints against it. It seems very strange and inappropriate to me, and somehow unprofessional, to include any reference to "sin" in this exchange. That's giving a wink and a nod to the authors of the piece, in my opinion.

John Aravosis suggests the following action, which I recommend, in addition to canceling your Post subscription, if you have one:
Contact the Post's ombudsman, Mike Getler. Try to explain to him why you consider this flyer (below) hateful, and be sure to ask him how the Post would feel about a similar ad about Jews or blacks and their physical inferiority to other races and peoples, and how that relates to those minorities not deserving civil rights:

- (202) 334-7582

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