Opinions

Our View-Controversial ad not endorsed by Daily Forty-Niner

As soon as one editor walked into the newsroom yesterday, the phone rang and a man on the other end said, “I’m sure the Daily Forty-Niner has gotten a lot of phone calls this morning about the advertising insert in today’s newspaper.”

The man identified himself as being from the Cal State Long Beach Foundation. He wanted to know who was responsible for the insert, if it was a genuine advertisement or if it was something the Forty-Niner might have put in; even though he conceded we probably didn’t.

The editor told the man he wasn’t aware of what he was talking about because he had just walked in and hadn’t seen the morning edition yet. The man said it was an extremely graphic anti-abortion insert and that he couldn’t tell if it was a paid advertisement or a philosophical statement from the Daily Forty-Niner staff.

He suggested the editor grab a copy and see for himself, which he did. The two-sided insert was as the man had described, graphic and unsigned. No mention of a group was included and nowhere on the flier did it mention that it was an advertisement, as the man had noted.

On one side titled “Dilation and Evacuation Abortion (D&E) of a 23 Week Old Fetus,” an illustration showing what appears to be a full-term fetus is ripped apart in stages by a pair of forceps. It illustrates the final stages, where the fetus is disemboweled and its head is crushed, with its brain oozing from the top of the skull.

The flip side of the flier titled “Suction and Curettage Abortion of a 9 Week Old Fetus” showed the process of a violent fetal removal, showing the fetus being sucked out head first, accompanied with a photo of chopped up body parts.

The newsroom was abuzz and editors were shocked. As the phones started ringing, it was clear that readers thought the Daily Forty-Niner was making a sociological anti-abortion statement.

Most of the comments were of shock, dismay and alarm. One caller said the insert confused her because she couldn’t find the article it went with. She also made a comment on how the insert made the Daily Forty-Niner look biased and joked that she walked out of her office to make sure she wasn’t at a religious institution.

As we explained to callers that the flier was not generated or supported by our newspaper staff, some readers seemed genuinely relieved.

The advertisement was not published under the control of the editorial staff of the Daily Forty-Niner. It appears the plight of journalism has once again fallen prey to the modern reality of needing advertising dollars to publish the truth.

The business department is a separate entity and has the authority to allow anyone who pays to advertise in our paper.

While each of us is dedicated to defending and promoting the First Amendment, the consensus of the editors was that the most offensive element of the insert was the fact that the flier didn’t indicate it was a paid advertisement. There was no disclaimer; the only origin stated that the illustration was copyrighted by Nucleus Medical Art and included a website nucleusinc.com.

A visit to the website shows that it is a commercial medical art site that takes no overt stance on abortion one way or another, but merely generates artwork. In fact, the insert was paid for by a private citizen. Our business manager apologized for the decision to include it without proper designation and clarification.

We would not willingly run this flier — nor would we run a flier promoting abortion — without it being prominently noted that it was an advertisement.

We are all pissed that it even remotely appeared to reflect the views of our staff. Our views are varied on the topic of abortion, as they are for most other areas of public discourse.

When we editorialize, we do so in print in the Opinions section and online at daily49er.wpengine.com, but never through unmarked inserts. The Daily Forty-Niner apologizes for the confusion.

 

14 Comments

  1. Precious Life

    The pictures looks gross because abortion is an act of evil!!! When will this country wake up to the reality that abortion is a gruesome and immoral act. And yes that gross part in the picture is “precious life”…it could have been you nor I…but unlike us will never have a chance to voice out their opinion.

  2. Throw It Out

    The person commenting below is absolutely right, it *is* gross … and just as he “threw the paper out”, so the babies are thrown out, too. When will we wake up and see the baby as part of this picture?!

  3. Alaina, do you really mean it when you say “You are all disgusting”? It seems the 49er has been extremely supportive of women’s issues for a long time. I’ve read many WSSA articles. Many! I understand your repulsion for the ad, but come on, be real.

  4. what a fun little anti-choice circle jerk this has become. poor sheep.

  5. read union weekly

    The group that created the ad has every 1st amendment right to distribute it. Maybe their balls were lost in a D&E so they didn’t want to claim it. Too bad the 49er practices selective censorship.

  6. little do any of these anti-abortionists know that every aborted child is given a proper burial in the backyard. furthermore, when each abortion is performed, the room is filled with roses and daisies and the there is a sun painted in one of the corners of the room who is smiling and winking while looking over his sweet new ray bans. and contrary to popular anti-abortionist conspiracy theories, the detached heads of the fetuses are not used for table tennis by the surgeons. once these fallacies of the anti-abortionist machine are dispelled, people will know the true nature of abortions. they’re just wonderful

  7. i do not understand why you are apologizing what i see is the reality of abortion and it is about time young people see what abortiont actually is; a horrific death inflicted on an unborn child…everyone has an opinion but has anyone actually seen exactly what it is the inserts are a hard reality and i am glad it was finally put out there so everyone can see what choice really is Death…

  8. i do not understand why you are apologizing what i see is the reality of abortion and it is about time young people see what abortiont actually is; a horrific death inflicted on an unborn child…everyone has an opinion but has anyone actually seen exactly what it is the inserts are a hard reality and i am glad it was finally put out there so everyone can see what choice really is Death…

  9. Why would anyone think about a “religious institution”? The insert just shows nasty pictures of an abortion but no names of religious organizations, churches, if it’s wrong or if it’s right. Don not bring religion into this!

  10. csulb student

    “the plight of journalism has once again fallen prey to the modern reality of needing advertising dollars to publish the truth” Please! Is this not the truth? Just because people choose to look the other way does not mean that students like myself don’t want to know the truth! Oh and if you really are “defending and promoting the First Amendment”, this article does not show it at all! This insert is also freedom of speech…just to let you know if you did think so.

  11. “shock, dismay and alarm” ????? This is what abortion is! We read all soars of bias information in the daily 49er all the time. Why is everyone reacting this way now that someone had the guts to show the reality of abortion. And why is everyone questioning the origin of the insert? Who ever came up with this PAID, fair and square. And Alaina… I agree with you… that is what abortion is… DISGUSTING!

  12. Pathetic excuse! I don’t believe you didn’t know what was in your own paper. You are all disgusting.

  13. I’d watch out… first, hiring Jason Aula. Now, this…

    Daily 49er, you have hit a new low.

  14. Yeah…that was pretty gross. I threw the paper out for the day… glad to know it doesn’t reflect the Daily 49er though…perhaps it does for the business department?

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