Inside Our Pages | Jake Sherman: An ad, certainly not an endorsement

Sometimes advertisements in newspapers can take on a life of their own. An advertisement that appeared in The Hatchet on April 14 did just that.

On Page 2, our campus news page, David Horowitz, a controversial conservative author who has appeared at GW, took out a half-page ad claiming that the Muslim Student Association is “a radical political group that was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the godfather of al Qaeda and Hamas, to bring the jihad into the heart of American higher education.”

As a campus institution and a media outlet, The Hatchet does not stand behind this message. It is slightly ludicrous to even ponder the idea that the MSA is a radical group in Foggy Bottom. But this instance has made us take a closer look at our advertising policies.

Rejecting advertisements is something we seldom do at The Hatchet. We are committed to an open dialogue on campus. While we may not agree with the content of every advertisement, we want people to have the opportunity to hear a multitude of opinions.

We are now working on a revamped policy which will provide more stringent guidelines for advertisements. Horowitz’s advertisement was inflammatory and, on second review, may not have passed our test of decency. The least we could have done is place the word “advertisement” atop the space so our readers would understand that this was not an enumeration of our views.

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