Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Do You Run the Potentially Defamatory Ad?

TO GAIN INTEREST IN THEIR upcoming "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week" event, David Horowitz and his Freedom Center tried to place ads in college newspapers across the country.

Many college newspapers declined to run the ad. According to the University of California, Santa Barbara student newspaper, the advertisement - “Stop the Jihad On College Campuses” - claims the Muslim Student Association recruits and supports speakers who “are calling for the execution of gays, the killing of Jews and support the terrorist jihad against America.”

The UCSB paper ran the ad. Penn State's paper did not.

Is it censorship if they don't run the ad? Is it promoting potentially divisive, possibly even racist beliefs if you do run it?

Would you run the ad? Be sure to read the Freedom Center's description of the event here.

(The photo of Horowitz is via the Santa Barbara Independent).


saleem ahmed said...

Although the ad can be seen as freedom of speech, it clearly would promote racists beliefs and ideas. people will just read the ad and believe that MSA is all that he thinks it is, WHICH IT ISNT.

Trust me, come to a Temple MSA event, like the Fast-a-thon where we raised money and awareness to starving children around the world, and you will see how "radical" muslim students are.

oh, and for the record... it is a known fact that Horowitz is a son of two life-long members of the Communist party and that he used to be Pro-Marxism... then he switched from his own radical left views to be super conservative... i dont even know if he can think straight...

Thomas Stevens said...

I think the decision of the newspapers to not run the ad is entirely justified by their own judgment. If the ad clearly has racially bias overtones, which the Freedom Center's website implies, then a newspaper is merely maintaining its political neutrality or partisanship by not running it.

courtney schmidt said...

I believe that the newspaper made the right choice in not running the ads. For the same reason a newspaper is not able to publish ads that would in some way cause a riot or defiance of the government, a newspaper should not publish any racial beliefs. Just because we are entitled to Freedom of Speech does not mean that we can use it to hurt a good chunk of the population. Race, sexual orientation, and, for the most part, religion, we as individuals do not choose but are born into. It is wrong to criticize someone for things they can not control, and therefore it is wrong to publish such hatred for them to see.

Lauren Grant said...

The newspapers made the right choice when they didn't run the ad. Running an ad thats offensive, especially on a college campus could cause a huge student uproar from students who are passionate about the topic. It wasn't censorship, but it was a cautious and intelligent way to prevent issues that may arise from running the ad.

Megan McCue Journalism said...

Even if it is an ad, it shouldn't be run if the publication believes it is unethical. Though journalism relies on advertising, they are still separate and should always put the public interest first.