(AUDIO) NY MTA Votes To Keep Taking Controversial Ads -- With Disclaimer
Thursday, September 27, 2012 - 11:57 AM
The NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority has voted to keep accepting "issue ads," with a disclaimer that the ad "doesn’t imply an endorsement." The authority will only put disclaimers on ads expressing political, religious or moral views.
(You're safe, Dr. Zizmor.)
The agency's monthly board meeting got a bit rowdy during the public comment session on Thursday, thanks to a controversial ad in the subway that equates the word 'jihad' with 'savages.'
Many came to speak because the MTA had let it be known that it might vote to ban all issue ads in the subway. That brought out a group of Occupy Wall Street protestors, who criticized the anti-jihad ads. Seth Rosenberg echoed several speakers when he called the ads "racist, anti-Muslim and vile to the core."
Pamela Geller, the woman who paid $6,000 to place a month's worth of ads in ten Manhattan subway stations, was there to defend her investment."The reason why these ads were run, so we have just a little context, is there were a series of anti-Israel ads that were running in the subway," she said.
Geller was referring to subway ads bought last year by a group called Two People One Future. Those ads said, "We are the side of peace and justice ... End U.S. military aid to Israel."
Though Geller said she found the Two People One Future ads offensive, she "didn't deface them." That was a pointed reference to to the fate of her own ads -- which, soon after their appearance on Monday, were affixed with stickers reading "Hate Speech."
When members of Occupy Wall Street tried to drown out Geller as she spoke at the meeting, NY MTA chairman Joe Lhota ordered the protestors removed.
Advertising produces one percent of the MTA's yearly revenue. And issue ads make up one percent of that - a total that comes to $1.3 million out of the MTA's annual budget of $1.2 billion.
You can see a photo of the ad below.