The film is being distributed to tens of millions of people in the US, almost exclusively in swing states, via their morning newspaper. It's paid advertising, of course. So, according to a spokesperson from the New York Times, it doesn't blur the line between editorial and advertising. Perhaps she should get new glasses. Or perhaps the line doesn't exist anymore, and that's why no one can find it.
From the always-excellent Greg Mitchell, of Editor and Publisher.
The arrival of tens of millions of DVDs of a controversial film on doorsteps around the nation -- but almost exclusively in election "swing states" -- via newspaper home delivery continues this weekend, with explanatory articles and subscriber feedback appearing on some of the papers' Web sites.
The DVDs of the 60-minute film, made in 2005, and titled "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West," arrived Saturday with, among other papers, the Charlotte Observer and the News & Observer in Raleigh, with delivery with the Miami Herald and other papers set for Sunday. (To watch a clip see link below.)
Other Florida papers to distribute it on Sunday included the major dailies in St. Petersburg, Tampa, Fort Myers and Orlando.
Despite some protests from Muslim and liberal activists, the newspapers -- all hard hit by drops in ad revenue in recent months -- have explained that the DVD does not violate their usual standards; see our exchange with The New York Times below. A spokesperson there said the Times last Sunday inserted 145,000 DVDs in its papers delivered in the following markets: Denver, Miami/Palm Beach, Tampa, Orlando, Detroit, Kansas City, St Louis, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee/Madison. Note: These are all in swing states.
The documentary showcases scenes of Muslim children being encouraged to become suicide bombers, interspersed with shots of Nazi rallies. "The threat of Radical Islam is the most important issue facing us today," reads the sleeve of the DVD. "But it's a topic that neither the presidential candidates nor the media are discussing openly. It's our responsibility to ensure we can all make an informed vote in November."
Ah, that liberal media. Where would we be without them. (Maybe not in Iraq?)