Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sep. 16: DVD Insert Should Have Had Another Insert

By Sylvia Gurinsky

Sometimes, the Sunday paper will have an interesting insert one can use. A small box of cereal. A package of dental floss.

This, Sunday, though, the local papers had an insert that was way out of the ordinary - the DVD of "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West." More than 70 publications, including all three major South Florida dailies, included it.

"Obsession" is not exactly objective reporting; it's been featured on Fox News and includes (and has been sustained by) right-wingers. Articles about the movie indicate that it was distributed to newspapers published in election swing states, but it also went to papers like the New York Times.

Some papers have published articles about the DVD. In South Florida, the Miami Herald has an article in today's paper. I haven't found one yet in either the South Florida Sun-Sentinel or the Palm Beach Post, although it's possible to link to the film's Web site from both sites.

Articles aren't enough. The DVD is, at the very least, political advertising, and possibly a method to incite further hatred.

If they had to send it along, which is debatable, the newspapers all should have had something on their Sunday front pages about the DVD. They also should have attached an additional insert to the DVD, indicating that it is political advertising.

Newspapers' revenues have been shrinking, and this debacle is an indication that their standards have done likewise. The advertising money they received for this was ill-gotten gains. What will Sunday readers find next? A box of tissues from the Ku Klux Klan or toothpaste from neo-Nazis?


Clarification for yesterday's blog: Subpeonas concerning gas gouging are being given by Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson. I did not mention him in yesterday's blog.

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