The Oregonian on Sunday joined more than 70 newspapers across the country (most located in swing states) in distributing, as paid advertising, the controversial, right-wing DVD titled "Obsession," about the threat of radical Islam. The Oregonian included the insert, dubbed by one critic an "alarmist manifesto," over the objection of Portland's mayor who feared the anti-Muslim DVD it would unnecessarily raise tensions in the community.
And that, "distributing with the Oregonian lends the video an impression of objectivity and legitimacy it does not deserve."
Editor & Publisher has been covering the unfolding Obsession/newspaper story for weeks and has the latest here.
The Oregonian's publisher, like many others, claimed the newspaper simply treated the DVD like any other insert and that it would not reject it based on whether he agreed or disagreed with the DVD's contents.
Yet we can't help wondering if another "alarmist manifest" DVD arrived at the newspaper next week that targeted a different religion, or perhaps a minority group, or even a specific politician, whether the publisher would use the same guidelines when acceepting or rejecting the insert.