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The Tennessean announced that it is investigating its ad sales processes after a religious group ran the following ad that said ‘Islam’ was planning a nuclear attack on Nashville on July 18th:
This morning, the Nashville @Tennessean — the largest newspaper in the state — published a full-page ad from a far-right client warning “Islam is going to detonate a nuclear device in Nashville, Tennessee.” It’s accompanied by photos of Donald Trump and Pope Francis. pic.twitter.com/9vvUbteSIh
— Alex Martin Smith (@asmiff) June 21, 2020
The newspaper says the ad violates their hate speech policy.
“Clearly there was a breakdown in the normal processes, which call for careful scrutiny of our advertising content,” Tennessean editor and VP Michael A. Anastasi said in a statement. “The ad is horrific and is utterly indefensible in all circumstances. It is wrong, period, and should have never been published. It has hurt members of our community and our own employees and that saddens me beyond belief. It is inconsistent with everything The Tennessean as an institution stands and has stood for.”
Ad sales and editorial operate independently at the newspaper. It’s nevertheless pretty remarkable that this could happen and it warrants monitoring what explanation they could possibly provide for it when their investigation is complete.