Denver financier Philip Anschutz’s Clarity Media Group has yanked an ad promoting its Washington, D.C., and San Francisco newspapers amid criticism the advertisement demonized Palestinian children.
The advertisement in the Jan. 24 edition of the media trade publication MediaWeek showed a girl playing a violin on one side and a Palestinian girl carrying an assault rifle on the other. Superimposed over the two pictures were the words “PTA to PLO.”
The ad, which was meant to attract advertisers, went on to say: “No local newspaper has ever delivered news of this scope.”
The Electronic Intifada, a not-for-profit website formed to provide news and information from a Palestinian perspective, asked its readers to contact Examiner vice president of advertising Mark Wurzer and San Francisco Examiner managing editor Jim Pimentel to request that they pull the ad.
“The implication is clear: the girl with the rifle is supposed to represent a Palestinian girl and embody what the PLO stands for,” the group said on its website.
Clarity, located in Denver, pulled the ad on Thursday, said Ali AbuNimah, co-founder of Chicago-based Electronic Intifada.
San Francisco Examiner publisher Scott McKibben apologized for the ad.
“It has been brought to our attention that a recent advertisement published in MediaWeek promoting The Examiner has caused concern and offence (sic) to readers. On behalf of Clarity Media Group and The Examiner in Washington and San Francisco, we sincerely apologize,” McKibben said.
Neither McKibben, nor his brother, Ryan McKibben, Clarity’s president, could be reached for comment.
Anschutz, the founder of Denver-based Qwest, bought the San Francisco Examiner and two other Bay Area weekly papers in 2004. He then trademarked the Examiner name, coupled with the names of more than 60 cities, including Washington and Denver. Last month, Clarity announced it would begin publishing a Washington Examiner on Tuesday.
Staff writer Tom McGhee can be reached at 303-820-1671 or firstname.lastname@example.org