“This Atlantic Brought to You By Scientology,” Jonah Goldberg notes at the Corner:
Everyone in the magazine business needs to have a bit of a “there but for the grace of God go I” attitude when it comes to keeping the lights on. But it seems to me some advertising just isn’t worth it. Exhibit A: The lavish fake article the Church of Scientology has taken out in The Atlantic under the heading “Sponsor content.”
As I said, “Old Media Belatedly Discovers That Elections Have Consequences”‘ the moribund Obamaconomy is impacting the Atlantic as well. (And for a bit of synchronicistic schadenfreude, check out the first quote in that post and where it ran.) In the midst of an astonished round-up from both sides of the aisle, Twitchy notes that even Atlantic writers are feeling, well, rather twitchy about their publication today:
Indeed. Much more on the Wright’s book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, in Friday’s Wall Street Journal, and from the start of the year, a New York Times article on how he researched the publication, which was spun-off this marathon 26-page New Yorker piece from 2011. A writer at Yahoo News posits, “It appears the Atlantic advertorial is part of a preemptive strike by the church ahead of the book’s publication, which is slated for Thursday.”
Update (9:50 PM PST): Going Clear? As of the time of this update, and after the bipartisan negative reaction (see the Twitchy link above), the Atlantic has now pulled the advertorial, replacing it with an otherwise blank page that states, “We have temporarily suspended this advertising campaign pending a review of our policies that govern sponsor content and subsequent comment threads.” But Business Insider has a screen cap of the ad — formatted to look very much like just another Atlantic article, if you’re interested: “Here’s The Atlantic’s Sponsored Article On Scientology That Twitter Is Going Insane About.”
More: From Ed Morrissey, in a Tuesday update at Hot Air: “Atlantic: Sorry about that Scientology ad.” The Atlantic admits, “We screwed up. It shouldn’t have taken a wave of constructive criticism — but it has — to alert us that we’ve made a mistake, possibly several mistakes.”
Well, yes. But then, the brand has been rather tarnished for some time now before this latest clusterfark.