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What The New York Times Won’t Run

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Last week, The New York Times recently ran a virulently anti-Catholic ad , complete with cartoon caricatures of the pope. The ad was signed by the two women presidents of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.  The end of the ad summed up its message: "As a member of a 'flock' of an avowedly antidemocratic club, isn't it time you vote with your feet? Please, exit en Mass."

Among many other criticisms, the ad (below) called it a "disgrace that U.S. health care reform was being held hostage to your church's irrational opposition to medically prescribed contraception."

The ad inspired AFDI/SIOA,a human rights organization dedicated to freedom of speech, to submit to the Times an almost identical ad (below), this time substituting Islam for Catholic. The ad was summarily rejected by the TImes.

When pressed about the the rejection, Bob Christie, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for the Times, said that the Times would be accepting the ad, but wouldn't run it a this time, considering the situation on the ground in Afghanistan. He added the the ad would be "reconsidered" in a few months.

In response, AFDI/SIOA's website notes that the Times has previously leaked documents that have jeopardized U.S. national security as in the FISA case, where the Times exposed a "highly classified Pentagon order" authorizing Special Operations forces to hunt al-Qaida leaders in the mountains of Pakistan. In that case, the Times exposed SWIFT (which put military and civilians at great risk of jihad). SWIFT was a legal secret program that gave the government access to a massive database of international financial transactions, using "broad subpoenas to collect the financial records from an international system." 

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org