Washington Post: Money Good, Gay Marriage Bad
Anti-Gay Marriage Advertorial Rankles 'Washington Post' Readersand it goes on. Here's the letter I just sent to WaPo:
By Joe Strupp
Published: November 23, 2004 4:35 PM ET
NEW YORK A 16-page advertising insert espousing a strong argument against gay marriage ran in some editions of The Washington Post Sunday, sparking more than 1,000 e-mails and phone calls, according to Ombudsman Michel Getler, who said most of the comments opposed the publication as offensive.
"They were overwhelmingly negative about the Post distributing this thing," Getler told E&P, noting that many of the responses were from outside the Post circulation area, indicating a formal campaign against the publication may have begun. "People were upset and they let the paper know."
The advertorial did not run in the metro edition of the Post, according to Getler, but could be found in about 200,000 zoned copies. It was labeled "BothSides Magazine" and appeared to be a creation of Grace Christian Church, with support from a number of Virginia area churches.
Formatted like a magazine, the publication included articles that argued against comparing gay-marriage rights to civil rights and criticized same-sex couples as parents.
"In the homosexual marriage movement, they have moved beyond asking for tolerance and are demanding a national endorsement," one column states. In another Q&A section, the publication says, "Q. What is wrong with letting homosexuals marry? A. Everything. Marriage is defined by the God of nature, and a wise society will protect marriage as it has always been understood." ....
I understand the Washington Post let African-American evangelicals buy 16 pages of advertorial to express their views on gay marriage. Bully for you. I’m glad to see that the Post is open to publishing ideas outside the mainstream. While you’re at it, I have some other suggestions.
The North American Man/Boy Love Association wants you to carry a glossy insert as part of a national membership drive. What do you say?I understand the Klan has some tasteful collateral materials that would go just perfectly in your Sunday section—and they’re willing to pay cash. Sounds like a marriage made in heaven (or at least, the section reserved for White folk).
The American Nazi Party is just dying to share its viewpoint on how to handle race relations, but it can’t seem to break into your Op/Ed pages. This seems like a perfect (if not exactly Final) solution, no?
My point? Either you have an advertorial vetting process or you don’t. Either you approve some material and allow it to become part of your editorial product, or you allow everything in without concern as to its content. If you say no to NAMBLA, the Klan, and the Nazis, but yes to the homophobes, you endorse the homophobe position. End of story.
You choose the kind of newspaper you want to publish.