When a controversial ad like the full-page one that ran in the March 11 issue comes to our advertising department, it is [X]press’ policy that the editorial board has the ultimate decision as to whether it should run in our publication.
This did not happen. Our 16-person editorial board did not get the opportunity to look at the ad before it was printed. According to our ad department, it got the ad on Tuesday (though the ad deadline is Monday) and no one read over the advertisement. Instead it was pasted on our page flats and sent to us on Wednesday afternoon. We took the paper to the printer at about 4:30 p.m. and paid no attention to the ads on any page as usual.
It wasn’t until Thursday morning did we see the full-page advertisement on the back.
This is not how it is supposed to be. There are procedures that this publication instituted so that this would not happen.
About three years ago, David Horowitz tried to run an ad against black reparations. The ad was so inflammatory that the editorial board decided not to run the ad and then ran a handful of stories about why we didn’t. About a year ago, an anti-abortion group wanted to run an insert in the newspaper. The editorial board agreed to accept the insert, but then it included stories in the paper discussing the issue.
[X]press has prided itself on diversity. Our staff is composed of people from many different races, ethnicities and religions. There are people of different generations and from both ends of the political spectrum. The fact that this ad ran in our paper betrays our mission statement. In no way does the editorial board share the same beliefs as Horowitz.
This is what we’re doing to rectify the issue:
1) There will be a front page clarification explaining what has happened
2) We are running another article about SF State’s reaction to the ad
3) We are bringing back the Opinion page to hear what you have to say. You can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday for Thursday's issue.
4) Every page flat and advertisement will be checked before it goes to the printer
Junior BECA majors Parthana Gupta and Sean Frisbie examine the controversial ad by David Horowitz that ran in the March 11 issue of Xpress. Several copies of the issue were posted in the Malcolm X Plaza with the words “Lies,” “Racist,” and “Anti-Semitic” scrawled across the ad.
March 15, 2004 9:19 PM
First off, I didn't see the ad that Horowitz placed but I can imagine, so...
1. Since when does a publication only accept money from someone they share ALL of their beliefs with? Isn't money what makes your publication work? And don't you have some sort of statement saying you don't always agree with your advertizers? If not, now is the time, that way there won't be time and space wasted on an explanation about advertisers you disagree with. Is there really nothing else to cover on campus?
2. "[X]press has prided itself on diversity." Hm, then why can't this man pay to print something he believes in? Doesn't he have a right to express his beliefs no matter how crazy they sound to the "editorial board" and the staff?
Maybe I am so far out there I missed the whole pointe here.
March 16, 2004 12:39 AM
does this mean no more macy's underwear ads?
March 16, 2004 8:02 AM
the unprofessionalism of not checking an ad before it was laid outmakes me think the journalism department, specifically the xpress, could use new faculty. a mistake of this type is inexcusable. your editors should be ashamed of themselves.
March 17, 2004 12:18 PM
Ads are ads. Doesn't the Horowitz guy also have first ammendment rights? C'mon, this is free speech. Or is it?
March 17, 2004 3:28 PM
Commercial speech is not protected under the first ammendment. Any advertisement is considered commercial speech. While Horwowitz is free to think and say what he will, Xpress is free to decide what is will and will not accept money for.
I don't belive that the advertisements in a newspaper should reflect in any way the personal or professional beliefs of the editorial staff. I understand why the editorial board reserves the right to approve controversial ads, but the running of the ads should not be held against the paper. It is common practice for the advertising and editorial staffs of an objective publication to remain completely seperate. This keeps the staffs objective. Editors don't worry about paying the bills, and ad execs don't worry about reader response. It is only the perception of our campus audience that causes Xpress to be cautious about what it runs.
I don't believe Xpress should apologize for this ad. I believe that allowing all opinions is fair and objective. As much as it was a right for the person who did so to right "Liar" and "Racist" on the ad, it is a right to print opposing views. It is up to the reader to decide what he/she will take from these views.
Xpress runs political ads on both side of the spectrum, and I believe this keeps the paper objective, fresh and open to all audiences. I hope it continues to to keep and open mind, and I hope the campus will too.
March 17, 2004 4:46 PM
Clearly, there's a problem when people are buying advertisements that aren't being read by the people that sell them. However, I find it problematic that this article does not mention what Horowitz's message was, and while it does mention that he was rejected for trying to run an ad for being opposed to black reparations and that an anti-abortion group was approved with a grain of salt, it doesn't say that Horowitz is expressing his views about what is going on in Israel. It seems suspect to me that the photograph that accompanies this article shows anonyms reactions to the ad, labeling the man an anti-semite, a racist, and though it's not visible in the photograph, apparently, someone called his words, "lies" as well. This seems to support the opposition to his message. I say that the photograph supports the opposition's message because while it shows the offending ad, only the scrawled slurs are visible. Why is the subject of his ad not mentioned? Miss Yee's article is about a failure in organization at the newspaper, but this photograph is not.
March 22, 2004 3:53 PM
The Horowitz ad contained no lies, no racism and no hyperbole. The newspaper's assertions that the ad should be vetted by the newspaper because it is pro-Israel and mentions suicide bombers illustrates the hold that the pro-Saddam and pro-Palestinian groups on this campus have.
I read this ad--twice. It is neither racist, hate speech or lies. Horowitz has the same first amendment rights as do we all. The only ones doing something wrong on the newspaper staff for apologizing for running the ad and saying they would ediit it to their "politcally correct" point of view.
This isn't the Palestine Authority where suicide bombers can be praised in classrooms and the media controlled so as not to get the information out.
March 22, 2004 7:30 PM
The Xpress should let the COCK suckers (the one's bitchin) know who's newspaper it is. That is journalism baby! Take it or leave it! Let's look at the Xpress's mission statement:
"We advocate public engagement and discussion that will serve the greatest good, minimize harm and best exercise the constitutional rights of free speech, expression and assembly guaranteed every American and protected by public servants."
Free speech baby! Now stop bitchin! And just allow a "letter to the editor" section in the paper so people can voice their opinions. Now move on to other stories! Peace!
March 28, 2004 3:09 PM
Why the overused knee-jerk accusation of racism? What is racist about any of the issues that Mr. Horowitz addresses? Everything in David Horowitz’ paid SFSU advertisement can be verified as fact:
Doesn’t the P.A. use children as human bombs?
Don’t Palestinian polls reflect widespread Palestinian support for terror against Israeli civilians?
Doesn’t the "left", (eg: ANSWER and the Islamic Association for Palestine) strive to delegitimize the existence of the State of Israel. The "peaceful anti-war protestors" repeatedly scream that Israel was responsible for 9/11 and Jews control (fill in the blank). Attending "peace protests, I’ve been personally subjected to more racism and hate in one day than in my lifetime.
Why then the furor over the truth? Publishing the truth takes courage and conviction that most media outlets lack. Acknowledging that not all cultures aspire towards a universal, democratic peace is an uncomfortable reality.
Reality is that the goal of extremist Islam is the destruction western civilization, not only Israel. Exposing these realities is no more racist than highlighting atrocities of Catholic Spain's Inquisition or today's enslavement of black Sudanese by Arabs.
Mr. Horowitz offers information that enables us to alter reality instead of succumbing to it.
April 6, 2004 2:33 AM
The main problem that the Xpress had here was that the advertisement was not clearly labeled as such. I was quite surprised when I read the back page, until I realized that it was an advertisement. The things written there was obviously so biased and misleading that of course someone would have to pay to have them published.
The primary problem: People in this society are not critical thinkers. If people would learn to analyze not just what they read, but understand who wrote it, why they wrote it, what they subjectivity is, then there would be a lot less ignorant people in this world. The Horowitz article was obviously not based on truth, but twisted, misconfigured stories based on one man's opinion which is clearly blinded by racism and hate.
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