The Central Intelligence Agency cut and then reinstated its advertising with Michigan newspaper the Arab American News after the newspaper published a story critical of the CIA, the Detroit Free Press reported.
The Arab American News is a Dearborn, Michigan-based Arab American newspaper. MondoTimes states that the newspaper has a circulation of 30,000. According to the Free Press, the story in question was an Associated Press report “that said the intelligence agency was helping spy on Muslim-Americans.”
A CIA spokesperson, Preston Golson, claimed the ads were “resubmitted” to the Arab American News and that the CIA “regrets any misunderstandings in this instance.” The Free Press noted that the AP story was published “in a number of mainstream media outlets” and has been “disputed” by the CIA.
In a Sept. 23 story, Arab American News confirmed that the advertisements had been “resubmitted” and noted that it was “two weeks after the CIA demanded to have the ads removed.”
Arab American News reported that Gravity Media, “the CIA advertising agency,” confirmed that the axed advertisements were a direct result of publishing the Associated Press story.
The newspaper’s publisher, Osama Sibliani, is quoted as saying that the newspaper was more concerned with freedom of the press than losing advertising money.
Arab American News suggested that the CIA apologized because the canceled advertising was reported on in the Detroit Free Press.
In a Sept. 16 opinion piece, Arab American News noted that it didn’t just publish the accusations against the CIA, but also “published an article detailing the CIA’s denial” of the charges in the Associated Press.
Arab American News claimed that “This is not the first time that a government agency has canceled advertising with our paper because of our editorial position.” According to Arab American News, “a few years ago,” Titan Corporation pulled its advertisements as a result of the newspaper’s anti-Iraq War stance.
iMediaEthics has written to the Arab American News for comment and will update with any response.
Hat Tip: Editor & Publisher