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Friday, August 6, 2010

Amtrak "Makes No Claims to Endorse or Support" Anti-Semitic Readers’ Comments Posted by The New York Times

See below the response of online New York Times advertiser Amtrak to my complaint concerning their advertisements placed beside anti-Semitic readers' comments posted by New York Times employees:

We regret that you are unhappy with Amtrak advertising with However, as an advertiser, Amtrak makes no claims to endorse or support the opinions of readers’ comments in response to news items and op-eds in the publications and websites on which it advertises.

My reply:

Given that Amtrak is a U.S. government-owned corporation, your response raises grave legal and ethical questions concerning Amtrak's online advertising where anti-Semitic readers' comments, which purportedly have undergone "moderation", are posted by employees of The New York Times.

Is it enough to distance yourself from such anti-Semitic comments by claiming that "Amtrak makes no claims to endorse or support" such opinions? Let's examine your contention by means of what is termed in economics a "stress test":

Would Amtrak advertise on a white supremacist website, where readers' comments regularly demean African Americans, inasmuch as "Amtrak makes no claims to endorse or support" these opinions? This would never happen, because such advertising would be deemed to legitimize these readers' comments and subsidize their publication. If so, why is Amtrak willing to place advertisements where vulgar anti-Semitic readers' comments are posted by New York Times employees?

If you wish to claim that the examples and references that I cited do not provide irrefutable evidence of flagrant racism targeting Jews in readers' comments posted by New York Times employees, just say the word. Meanwhile, please note that The New York Times very recently posted the following reader's comment advocating Holocaust denial, which states in relevant part:

"In other words survivors of the alleged Holocaust can say whatever they want, accuse whomever they choose, make the most outrageous and irrational statements i.e. fabricate reality and lie and not have to produce an iota of evidence to sustain their contentions nor suffer the rigors of cross examinations."

You write, "We regret that you are unhappy with Amtrak advertising with" Frankly, I am astounded that the management of Amtrak, a government-owned corporation, is not equally upset with the appearance of its advertising beside vulgar expressions of anti-Semitism.

I await your immediate response.

Yours sincerely,

1 comment:

  1. You have to be joking, right? The New York Times, for all of its many faults, is one of the premiere news organizations in America. Only a fool would look at reader-authored slurs and decide to hold the Times accountable for such sentiments, and only a double fool would then assume an advertiser had any sway over such things.

    As an aside, it is possible to hold Judaism in very high regard, and still find the state of Israel to be barbaric at times.