The Attack of the Offensive Ad

Egyptian-born author and activist Mona Eltahawy  is seen in this video defacing a poster whose anti-Jihad message she finds offensive.

The ad copy reads:

In Any War Between The Civilized Man and the Savage,

Support The Civilized Man.

Support Israel

Defeat Jihad

The New York Metropolitan Transit Authority barred the ads for their “demeaning language,” but in July a federal judge ruled that barring the ads violated the free speech rights of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which is run by Pamela Geller.  She also co-founded Stop Islamization of America.  Geller became a controversial national figure when she questioned Barack Obama’s citizenship and opposed the Park51 Community Center (aka “Ground Zero Mosque”).  Many groups, including the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League, have called Geller’s organizations examples of hate groups.  The pro-Israel ADL says that Geller’s activism “fuels and fosters anti-Muslim bigotry in society.”  Here is a National Public Radio report on the controversy.

What would your own ad say in response to this ad? 


About socalnancysnow

I'm Professor of Communications at California State University, Fullerton, what we sometimes refer to as "Disney U" given its proximity to the famous mouse kingdom. I specialize in political and persuasive communication (e.g., media and politics, rhetoric, propaganda studies, image management), which explains my social media handles: Twitter (drpersuasion) and Skype (drpropaganda). My best known books are "Propaganda, Inc." and "Information War," though I have also edited several books on the post-9/11 era, including the "Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy" and "War, Media and Propaganda." I have published nine books altogether. My latest are "Truth is the Best Propaganda" and "Propaganda and American Democracy."

6 responses to “The Attack of the Offensive Ad”

  1. Zach Leonardo says :

    My own ad I would post in response to Gellers’ ad would have to be right next to it. It would be an arrow pointed at Gellers’ ad and next to it just put JK or this person is a racist. I could also follow the Tea Party and get a photo of Geller and draw a Hitler mustache on her.

  2. Dikran Arabian (DJ) says :

    In this I can’t believe what I saw but if I were Mona I would have done the same thing. It is true that it’s very wrong what is being said.

  3. Amber Scott says :

    My ad would say something like ‘ A civilized man does not perpetuate the notion that differences equate to one being a savage man. In fact, such a notion is savage itself. So who is the war really between?’ Just something to point out how contradictory the ad and message are to each other.

  4. Laura E says :

    I wouldn’t have stopped mona. But I think that an ad next to it showing the opposing side,Mona & many others opinions, would be good.

  5. Terry Manley (@OddlyWitty) says :

    I just heard a debate about this story on NPR the other day, on Air Talk, I think. They were debating the First Amendment issues involved with the judge banning the ad and whether or not NYC Transit should have the authority to censor what ads get placed in their tunnels.

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