Monday's Post-Gazette will show up on your doorstep swathed in “Vote for Freedom … Defeat Obama” ad on the little bag in which the paper is delivered. I confirmed this over the telephone with the Post-Gazette's customer service department this morning.
That's pretty shameless. I understand the line between editorial content (they endorsed Obama) and advertising revenue, but the day before the election seems like an opportunity for exploitation of that line. And the PG has to know that. Other newspapers turned it down…like the Virginia Pilot. Here's what they said about that decision, courtesy of 2 Political Junkies:
Similar considerations factored into The Pilot's decision to reject the ad, said company business development manager Alan Levenstein.
Because it takes about six weeks to print the plastic bags, permitting a group with one view to purchase that space could deny a group with an opposing view a chance to buy the same space before the election, Levenstein said.
“We want to make sure that we provide equity for all sides, make sure that there is a level playing field,” he said. “We want to make sure that we don't look, as a newspaper, that we're endorsing one viewpoint or another.”
As a matter of policy, The Pilot would sell space to candidates and interest groups of all persuasions in its print pages, which unlike the plastic bags can accommodate multiple ads in one edition.
Maria's post is excellent. She's urging all you who find this offensive and inappropriate to call the PG's Advertising Department to complain. 412-263-1100. Some are calling for cancellations of subscriptions. I mean the whole point of this business decision was to get the ad in front of those who get the hard copy delivered at home. If you cut off that source of income, you send a message.
The PG's desperation is getting pretty schlocky. The Pittsburgh Bible was ridiculous. I feel zero responsibility to support the PG when they are engaging in business practices that violate voter ethics. It is despicable and beyond belief that someone was stupid enough to accept this ad.