The newspaper owes the news outlets an apology for running the obviously false and inflammatory ad purchased by Fox News; the full-page ad that claimed all the news channel's "missed" the story of the 9/12 protest. Question: Is the Post so desperate for ad revenues that it will gladly ignore its own advertising standards? Because that's so clearly what the newspaper did on Friday.
It didn't take a detective on the Post's sales team to realize the Fox News ad was false. How could the nets and Fox News' cable competitors have "missed" the story of the march if they all covered it throughout the day?
Here's the Post's dreadful attempt to defend cashing Fox News' check [emphasis added]:
[The Post] will not reject an advertisement based on its content or sponsor, unless the ad is illegal, false, advocates illegal actions, or is not in keeping with standards of taste. When we do not see anything in a particular ad that is contrary to these standards, we will not place limits on speech or content. That was our review and judgment in this case."
Pressed about the fact that the Fox News ad's central claim was false, a Post flak insisted that because it was Fox News' opinion that competitors "missed" the story, that made it okay.
So if the New York Times bought a full-page ad in USA Today ridiculing the Post for having "missed" a story that the Post had clearly covered, the Post would have no problem with that?
In this battle of media giants, ABC was dead-on when it's spokeswoman declared that the Post had exercised "zero due diligence" in trying to figure out if the Fox News ad was false.
"[the Post] should have been rejected according to your professed standards. Now the Post should make it right by apologizing quickly and recognizing that it made a grave error that tarnishes the reputation of five other news organizations."