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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Hypocrisy from UC-Davis student newspaper

I mentioned that the UC-Davis student newspaper, the California Aggie, had placed two conditions on publishing a pro-Israel ad I designed:

1) We put the words "Paid Advertisement" at the top of the ad.
2) The Aggie will run a box next to the ad giving readers their response options (Where to buy an ad of their own, where to send a guest opinion, etc...)

In a later email to the ad's sponsor, written on Saturday, the editor of the paper wrote:
In the future, as long as I'm Editor in Chief of The Aggie, any advertisement regarding such an important issue will need to be fair, as yours is, and must meet these two conditions. Whether it's a politician running for office or a direct response to your ad, these conditions will be enforced consistently from this point forward.

Yesterday, the Aggie published this ad:


Needless to say, this ad did not adhere to either of the two conditions that the editor promised - even though Amnesty International is hardly an uncontroversial organization.

Again, for comparison, here is the "controversial" ad that is being subjected to restrictions by the newspaper:


As I mentioned previously, I have no problem with the first condition. The second condition, however, is insulting. It is insulting both to the pro-Israel community and to the Aggie community. I would hope that college students would be smart enough to know the difference between an ad and an editorial, and also smart enough to know that ads can be responded to. The very idea that a pro-Israel ad needs to be specifically highlighted so that people who want to bash Israel are given every possible opportunity to do so is in itself evidence of bias. What other newspaper makes such a demand for a paid ad?