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The Ad that the D Won’t Let You See

Dartblog D Ad2.jpgJust when I was starting to get the sense that things were loosening up, the past rears up and bites. Old habits die hard, I guess.

Last Monday Dartblog ran a small advertisement in The Dartmouth. It appears to the right. Pretty plain vanilla stuff, right? No need to call the lawyers. And certainly nothing compared to an ad that recently ran in the Harvard Crimson.

Our ad elicited a modest response, so we asked the D to run it again this coming Monday… but no dice! Here is the answer to our request from the D’s efficient and cordial advertising manager:

From: Advertising Director
Sender-time: Sent at 10:45 PM (GMT-04:00)
To: Joseph Asch
Date: Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 10:45 PM
Subject: Re: OK

Hi Joe —

After speaking with the Publisher about the Dartblog ad, he made the decision to not continue running it in The Dartmouth. It’s our editorial policy that the Publisher, JR Santo, reserves the authority to approve all advertising, and I hadn’t previously spoken with him about the Dartblog ad that was placed on Monday. However, given that the nature of the ad directly conflicts with the editorial content of The Dartmouth, we have decided to not continue running the Dartblog ads in the newspaper.

If you would like to speak with him further about this, please feel free to contact him — JR’s e-mail address is

Cory Cunningham

Whoa. Wait a minute. What does “directly conflicts with the editorial content of The Dartmouth” mean? I am aware that things are tough in the newspaper business right now, but I don’t think that Dartblog represents even de minimis economic competition to the venerable D. Do you? Of course, the term “conflict” is somewhat vague. Might it mean “disagree”? Well, we can’t have that now, can we?

So why did this happen? My guess: Somewhere somehow somebody is feeling kicked around some. And that person doesn’t want any more people than necessary reading Dartblog. We’ll take this petty censorship as a backhand compliment.


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