Catholic League members know that we always protest those insipid anti-Catholic ads that are placed in major newspapers by a breakaway splinter group of the Seventh Day Adventists. Fortunately, most publishers act responsibly and pledge not to run them again. But few are as professional as the people associated with the Arizona Republic.
When the familiar “Earth’s Final Warning” ad appeared in the August 19 edition of the newspaper, we complained via phone and letter. We are happy to report that so did Phoenix Bishop Thomas J. O’Brien. Indeed, he was so angry that he demanded an apology; the league supported him in this effort.
The result was that David Alley, the advertising vice president, wrote an apology to readers in the August 26 edition of the Arizona Republic. “While the strength of newspaper is its ability to give voice to a wide range of divergent views,” he said, “we must ensure those views are expressed in a civil manner.” Perhaps most heartening was the way he closed his editorial: “Unfortunately, this ad offended a lot of good people. For that we are sorry.”
We wrote to Mr. Alley saying, “This piece should be recognized as an example of journalistic integrity.” We also told him we would mention this in Catalyst. What we liked best about his comment was that he spared us the usual, “If you were offended….” He simply told it straight.