I wrote here Saturday about the "Islam terror" scaremongering DVD Obsession that the Clarion Fund has paid dozens of newspapers across the country -- almost solely in "swing" election states -- to distribute, many of them quite large in cities such as Miami, Philadelphia, Denver and Pittsburgh. (HuffPost was one of the first to be on this.) My posting was updated yesterday when many more papers sent it around. An estimated 28 million copies have been distributed so far, also through the mails and other magazines. An article at the group's site, www.radicalislam.org, all but endorsed John McCain this past week, then was pulled down.
But at least one newspapers turned away the money and refused to distribute it, calling it "divisive."
It's the Greensboro News & Record in North Carolina, which was one of the first mainstream dailies to really plunge into blogs and other Web-related community things. The longtime editor, John Robinson, explained his reasoning in a column yesterday.
Here is an excerpt and link.
Many newspapers across the country distributed a controversial DVD today about Islam, titled "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West."....We did not distribute it. I was not involved in the decision; it was an advertising call, in keeping with advertising policies.
I asked our publisher about it. He said it was divisive and plays on people's fears and served no educational purpose. The revenue it would have brought in was not a motivator.
As I've said on other occasions about news decisions, just because you can publish doesn't mean you should.
My earlier story: http://www.eandppub.com/2008/09/controversial-d.html
Greg Mitchell's latest book, on Iraq and the media, is titled "So Wrong for So Long."