Sunday, June 25, 2006

The most recent NY Times article revealing a classified anti terror program set me to thinking-what is the best way for the "average" person to respond to this type of action by a media outlet?

The conclusion I came to was that I need to work to make advertisers aware of the fact that people do associate their advertising with the irresponsible reporting on terrorism in the Times. The first advertiser I noticed on the Times website was Liberty Mutual Insurance, with their motto prominently displayed-"Responsibility. What's your policy?". That seemed to fit. So I dashed off this email to them.
Mr. Coyle:

I recently checked the New York Times home page to learn who the advertisers supporting the paper were and your company was the banner advertiser. I am writing to express my disappointment that your firm would support a media outlet that is so committed to undermining support for legal intelligence gathering operations being conducted by agencies of the United States government. I take your advertising to be an endorsement of the borderline illegal reporting the Times has been conducting to "expose" classified programs, most recently financial tracking of funds that support terrorists.

Of course I understand that no publisher clears stories with advertisers prior to publication so your firm cannot be held responsible for this report being published. However, you do have a decision to make after the fact as to whether you will continue to support any newspaper that knowingly prints classified information.

I ask that you express your disgust with the reporting practices of the Times by immediately cancelling your advertising with this publication. I am very interested in hearing what your decision on this matter is and understanding the reasoning behind that decision. If I do not hear from your company regarding this matter I will have to assume that you are not concerned about supporting the behavior of the NY Times with your advertising dollars and approve of the actions of their reporters and editor.

Any future business I or my family and friends would consider doing with your business hinges on this decision. If your organization chooses to continue to support this behavior I will choose to not do business with you and encourage others not to as well. Thanks for your consideration in this matter. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Jim Ramnes
Wadena, MN


I also sent one to Continental Airlines and will continue to contact other advertisers.

When we as Americans make the decision that we associate advertising in publications that act irresponsibly with support for those irresponsible actions, and follow through on that decision by refusing to do business with those who support these irresponsible actions, we will have made a start at cutting off the oxygen to those who would like nothing more than to continue to attack anyone who wants to see us lose the War on Terror.

Note-this has nothing to do with what editorial position a publications takes. This is aimed at publications that intentionally publish classified information as "in the public interest" with no concern for how it affects the very lives of people across the world. I support fully the right to express views, but their is no right to share information that threatens the lives of not only American military people but citizens in their homes.

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