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May 04, 2007

NYT's Subsidiary Defends Ad Seeking Bids To Build Iranian Nuke Reactors

I might say that such an advertisement is not only despicable, but corrupting, as newspapers tend to avoid angering advertisers.

But I doubt there's any corruption here. After all, the NYT's advertising standards seem to be following its submit-to-Iran editorial line, rather than vice versa.

The International Herald Tribune newspaper has defended its acceptance of an advertisement seeking bids for two large scale nuclear reactors in Iran. The ad appeared on April 20, including in the edition of the IHT distributed with the English version of the Haaretz daily.

Inviting bidders to help in the construction of two pressurized light water reactors in the Bushehr province, the ad also ran in the Financial Times on April 25.

This despite growing concern over Iran's nuclear proliferation program, particularly in the light of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's repeated threats of destruction against Israel.

"The Nuclear Power Production and Development Company of Iran (NPPD), an affiliate of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, invites sealed bids for contractors/companies for the Design, Supply of Equipment, Construction and Commissioning of two large-scale units (1000-16000 MWe each) with third generation nuclear power, pressurized Light Water Reactor in the Bushehr Province of Iran," the ad says.


David Albright, founder and president of the Institute for Science and International Security, said in response that bidding on light water reactors "violates the spirit" of Security Council Resolution 1737, which prohibits all states from the supply, sale or transfer of goods and technologies which could contribute to Iran's enrichment related processing or heavy water related activities of nuclear weapons delivery systems.


An IHT spokesman, asked whether accepting such an ad was appropriate, wrote: "We believe that advertising should be as free and open as the dictates of honesty and decency allow. In our view, advertising is an essential ingredient in the broad concept of a free press."

Which is perfect nonsense. Newspapers always have exerted control over what ads they run -- I don't notice any escort service advertisements, for example, in the NYT's classified section.

The media always interposes this nonsense rule of strict nonjudmentalism and nondiscrimination in all manners of speech -- but only so long as it's speech they like, or at least do not strongly disapprove of. They claim an absolutist stance on "free speech," claiming, whenever they get caught disseminating anti-American or otherwise controversial statements, that they simply have no power whatsoever to patrol their very own pages for content.

And the rest of the time, of course, they're dilligently scrubbing the first pages, and crucial first few paragraphs of an article, of any information that might undermine their editorial line.

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posted by Ace at 01:03 PM

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