Anti-Catholic Ad OK in New York Times, But Similar Anti-Islam Ad Rejected

March 15th, 2012 3:24 PM

Neil Munro of the Daily Caller reports on a double standard on religious-bashing ads in the New York Times involving Pamela Geller (pictured), the activist against radical Islam whose "venomous" rhetoric the Times finds offensive, especially after her involvement in the opposition to building a mosque a few blocks from Ground Zero.

Executives at The New York Times have rejected a full-page anti-Islam advertisement that mimicked a controversial anti-Catholic advertisement they published on March 9.

According to a Mar. 13 letter sent by the Times to the ad’s sponsor, anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller, the $39,000 anti-Islam ad was rejected because “the fallout from running this ad now could put U.S. troops and/or civilians in the [Afghan] region in danger.”

Munro solicited the opinion of Catholic League president Bill Donohue, who responded in part:

....anti-Islamist activist Pamela Geller decided to submit an ad to the Times that played off the FFRF ad by changing the wording to make it look like an attack on Islam. For example, she asked Muslims to quit their religion because they oppress so many people....The Times’ rationale for denying Geller’s ad is sound: as a veteran, I am opposed to unnecessarily putting our armed forces in harm’s way. But I wonder why it takes fear to impel the New York Times not to run bigoted ads. Wouldn’t ethics suffice? It certainly wasn’t enough when they decided to run the FFRF ad assaulting Catholic sensibilities.

Mark Steyn at National Review comments: "Thus the courage of the secular left: If you’re going to be 'provocative', it’s best to do it with people who can’t be provoked."

Update 15:56 | Matthew Sheffield. The Times's sudden interest in protecting the lives and fortunes of America's troops overseas is really quite unexpected here considering the many stories divulging American intelligence practices and tactics over the years. These policies, such as so-called "enhanced interrogation" techniques or international imprisonment of terrorist suspects are things widely condemned by leftists worldwide and have provoked outrage in the Islamic world as well, certainly leading to riots and instability in U.S.-occupied countries like Iraq and Afghanistan. 

As everyone knows, the Times pressed forward publishing these stories despite whatever (if any) concerns about putting American troops in harms way.