(AUDIO) NY MTA Votes To Keep Taking Controversial Ads -- With Disclaimer

Thursday, September 27, 2012 - 11:57 AM

Pamela Geller defending her anti-jihad subway ads during the public session of the MTA meeting (photo by Jim O'Grady)

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.

(photo by Jim O'Grady)


Comments [5]

Jihad D

Good day, my name is Jihad. I find this ad offensive for a very personal reason. I am an American Christian, and I am outraged at this ad that equates my name with `savages'. Jihad is a very common Arab name which means a hard worker. Did Ms. Geller consider that she was defaming the name of many hard-working and peace-loving Americans when making this ad?

Oct. 01 2012 09:44 AM
Matt C

@Mark: There have already been dozens of anti-Israel ads, including ones that have questioned Israel's right to exist. The "law" (policy) was not changed then, and should not be changed now. Strangely, it seems it is only when someone condemns Jihad and/or supports Israel that people like you start screaming for censorship.

Sep. 28 2012 03:46 AM

I am Palestinian, born and raised in New York. I am very offended by this ad. Take it down NOW. STOP anti-islam

Sep. 27 2012 06:27 PM
Michael D. D. White

The comments Noticing New York gave at the meeting today focusing on the MTA's promotion of the Barclays Center, together with Noticing New York's own report on this protest at the MTA board meeting, is available here:

Thursday, September 27, 2012, Noticing New York Public Comment At Today’s MTA Board Meeting On the Subject Of MTA’s Devoting Public Assets To Advertising

Sep. 27 2012 02:45 PM

Easy way to solve this problem: get a Saudi prince to buy a bunch of ads questioning the legitimacy of the Israel. The law will get changed in an instant.

Sep. 27 2012 01:45 PM

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