Listen, you don't have to explain to us the tyranny of advertisement over media. We understand better than most that ads of variable quality mean the difference between survival and death, and the impossibility of making sure every single one isn't going to leap out of the reader's screen and slap them in the face with suspiciously discounted apparel. But newspapers are different: There's finite space on those pages, and certainly little enough that someone can vet it all to weed out claims of an impending xenophobic apocalypse. Somehow, though, Nashville's The Tennessean let this puddle of lunacy ooze onto its pages yesterday.
The full-page essay that appears designed to be mistaken for an article, with "paid advertisement" written in letters tiny enough to make ants squint at the top, warns readers "that on July 18, 2020, Islam is going to detonate a nuclear device in Nashville, Tennessee." As if Islam is just a couple of guys in a WeWork office somewhere rather than a diverse worldwide community. The eight paragraphs of gibberish that follow completely fail to explain any of the numerous questions raised by that initial sentence but helpfully direct the reader to a completely legitimate dot-news website that will definitely explain everything in actual words.
Michael A. Anastasi, vice president and editor of The Tennessean, must have woken up to one hell of a "missed call" list yesterday. He assured everyone that he found the ad "horrific" and it "should never have been published," but sadly, no one asked him how much it would cost to, say, inform the greater Nashville area that your ex never learned to wipe his ass properly while they root out whichever intern fell asleep at the wheel. It must be a lot, because some dude named Jeff Pippenger who claimed to be a speaker for the group who bought the ad, the likewise grammatically questionable Ministry of Future for America, demanded a full refund upon hearing of the ad's retraction. Disseminating propaganda ain't cheap, folks.
Manna's Twitter is propaganda of fierceness.
Top image: Pixabay/TheDigitalArtist