Dousing the “Pay to Publish Hate” Flame

In the Oct. 24 issue of the Minnesota Daily, there was an ad published next to Dr. Date’s column from the Israeli-advocacy group Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME). It was a paid ad in the form of an article filled with both fiction and hate, stating things like “Iranians and the other Muslims are crazies…” and yet it was published.

I’m writing not to respond to that nonsense ad but instead to express alarm at the irresponsible “pay to publish hate” which the Minnesota Daily has become hostage to. It is not the first time FLAME has burned through the ethical and professional obligations of the Daily. On Aug. 1 of this year, the Daily’s business operations officer Nathan Moen explained why they put up with this: “The Daily is under a year-long contract with an advertising agency that places ads for FLAME and others.” Elaborating further, he stated, “We don’t want to hinder our business relationship with that agency …” Oddly, he then pointed out that the Daily reserves the right to refuse advertisements that could have a negative impact on the Daily’s readers.

Let’s pretend that this article is indeed a legit advertisement. Is an advertisement that shamelessly states Iranians and Muslims are “crazies” acceptable to the Daily? This is offensive and the business relationship excuse won’t cut it. The Daily has some explaining to do.