U.S. newspapers distribute ‘terror’ DVDs to subscribers

Editor and Publisher reports that, over the weekend, millions of DVDs of a film, Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West, were delivered by newspapers mainly in key swing states such as Florida and Pennsylvania. The New York Times, the Miami Herald, Denver Post, and the Columbus Dispatch were among 70 papers, by E&P‘s count, ...

Editor and Publisher reports that, over the weekend, millions of DVDs of a film, Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West, were delivered by newspapers mainly in key swing states such as Florida and Pennsylvania. The New York Times, the Miami Herald, Denver Post, and the Columbus Dispatch were among 70 papers, by E&P's count, that were paid to distribute the film.

The unusual advertising supplement is being bankrolled by the Clarion Fund, a non-profit, "non-partisan" group whose "primary focus is on the most urgent threat of radical Islam." The movie itself, which originally aired on the Fox network, was funded by an undisclosed donor. 

"The threat of Radical Islam is the most important issue facing us today,'' the hour-long film's jacket reads. ''But it's a topic that neither the presidential candidates nor the media are discussing openly. It's our responsibility to ensure we can all make an informed vote in November.'' 

Editor and Publisher reports that, over the weekend, millions of DVDs of a film, Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West, were delivered by newspapers mainly in key swing states such as Florida and Pennsylvania. The New York Times, the Miami Herald, Denver Post, and the Columbus Dispatch were among 70 papers, by E&P‘s count, that were paid to distribute the film.

The unusual advertising supplement is being bankrolled by the Clarion Fund, a non-profit, "non-partisan" group whose "primary focus is on the most urgent threat of radical Islam." The movie itself, which originally aired on the Fox network, was funded by an undisclosed donor. 

"The threat of Radical Islam is the most important issue facing us today,” the hour-long film’s jacket reads. ”But it’s a topic that neither the presidential candidates nor the media are discussing openly. It’s our responsibility to ensure we can all make an informed vote in November.” 

Here’s a short clip:

If the tone of E&P‘s coverage is any indication, I guess I’m supposed to be upset by this. Sure, the film looks to be an unsophisticated, unnuanced look at the phenomenon of radical Islam and terrorism. It’s propaganda, not journalism. The group’s logo is distasteful, and the Web site explains "Islam itself" as "a kind of fascism that achieves its full and proper form only when it assumes the powers of the state." I’m aware that the DVD is obviously intended to help out John McCain. But so what? Advocacy groups on both sides do similar things all the time, and it’s nothing the same crowd hasn’t been saying for years. What’s really new here?

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