Visit The New York Times’ homepage today, and before the page loads you may be shown a 15-second full-screen advertisement warning that unnamed “Islamist groups” are “undermining America’s security, liberty, and free speech,” with a photo of the World Trade Center towers. (A brilliant ad by Steve Emerson and the Investigative Project on Terrorism)
From IPT: PROVING OUR POINT May 23, 2014 – Backlash to the IPT’s full-page New York Times ad calling for open debate about radical Islam’s role in fueling terrorism shows that any mention of the subject generates shrieking accusations of bigotry. News organizations continue to be part of the problem. MORE HERE
VOX The ad’s implicitly Islamophobic message, suggesting that Muslim-Americans may be enemies within, and its timing during the opening of the September 11 Memorial Museum, raise questions about why the Times decided to allow it such prominent display on its homepage. The advertising unit, called an interstitial, is typically one of the most expensive because it required users to view the ad or click away before they can see the New York Times homepage.
A spokesperson for the Times, asked why the ad was permitted under the company’s policy against ads that are gratuitously offensive on racial, religious, or ethnic grounds, responded that the ad had been internally reviewed and approved. The spokesperson added that the company had decided to slightly alter the ad’s wording. “However upon reexamination, we think the phrase ‘radical Islamists’ would have been better than ‘Islamists’ in this advertisement,” she explained. “The advertiser agreed to the change and the ad has been updated on nytimes.com.”
The ad is sponsored by a group called the Investigative Project on Terrorism, which says it researches “radical Islamist terror groups,” but in practice primarily argues that mainstream Muslim-Americans and Muslim-American groups are secretly terrorists who are plotting against the US.
Here is the ad as it appeared when attempting to load NYTimes.com:
The group also purchased a full-page display ad (below) in Wednesday’s print edition New York Times. The all-text ad opened by “commemorating today’s official opening of the National September 11 Memorial Museum.” It went on to warn at great length that mainstream Muslim-American groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations were in fact part of a clandestine “radical Islamist” vanguard of a “holy war” that supports terrorism and wishes to continue the efforts of the September 11 attacks. “This is the new form of the jihadist threat we face,” the ad reads.
The Investigative Project on Terrorism has long been criticized as Islamophobic for its campaign against what it describes as a clandestine effort by “radical Muslims” — which they allege includes mainstream rights groups — to infiltrate and destroy the United States from within. The group was founded in 1995 by Steven Emerson, whose 2002 book is titled “American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us.”
Emerson has a reputation for campaigning against Muslim-American groups and for paranoia; a 2002 storyreported that he often required visitors to his office to wear a blindfold. Former CIA counterterrorism director Vincent Cannistraro said of him, “He’s trying to say people who move to this country and set up charities and think tanks and are associated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah, that there’s some kind of connection between them and Sept. 11, that there’s a liaison or support network.”
A Times spokesperson told Digiday, “The ad was reviewed internally and complies with our policy on advocacy ads.