WorldNetDaily is so offended by ads featuring scantily clad women that it must write about them -- and show you the pictures.
By Terry Krepel
WorldNetDaily appears to be following Cecil B. DeMille's adage that you have to give the public a little sin with their salvation.
WND is heavy on religious-oriented articles; recent topics include a book claiming that God himself wrote the Bible, links to articles touting anti-Christian-persecution group Voice of the Martyrs (which repeatedly appears on WND's front page presented as a "news" article without any notation to its readers that Voice of the Martyrs is a sponsor of WND editor Joseph Farah's radio show) and the story of a minister who was allegedly banished from the pulpit for denying church membership to a gay man.
But interspersed with the above articles are cleavage-laden items that seem to conflict with WND's general prudishness. An example is a July 26 article on an ad promoting a conference about advertising that "featured a close-up shot of a woman's chest in a black bustier," accompanied by a photo of said ad. While the denunciations of such an ad are expected -- it's "degrading and sexist," according to one quote -- WND has made sure to include images of the ads it is denouncing. In between, WND managed to miss out on the irony of the ad, using sex to sell an unsexy conference about advertising, which faces criticism from folks like WND for using sex to sell things.
This sexy-ad obsession began in February with the GoDaddy.com ad during the Super Bowl, which featured a big-breasted woman with the company's logo across her chest. WND seemed particularly disturbed that GoDaddy's president had previously founded a company that sold a computerized Bible-study program.
WND was positively obsessed with the ad for the Carl's Jr. hamburger chain featuring a scantily clad Paris Hilton, churning out a whopping seven articles about it, each featuring a judiciously edited photo ("cropped due to content," the first article noted, though WND didn't seem to mind presenting full-frontal cleavage for the bustier ad). It prominently featured an anonymous "industry source" quoted as calling the ad "pornographic," though for all we know the "industry source" could be noted prude Brent Bozell. (Actually, WND did quote Bozell in a later article calling the ad "soft-core pornography.")
A June article featured a jeans billboard ad that had been "deemed too suggestive for public display" -- making sure to include a copy to show just how suggestive it was.
It's a strange dichotomy that articles about what offends the sensibilities of WND editors includes pictures of what offends them, thus giving said offensive activity a wider audience.
Sometimes, of course, such outrage is self-serving. A July 29 article takes credit for the removal of a billboard promoting a gay-dating site in Cambridge, Mass., after running an article the day before about an anti-gay group's outrage at it. But the article undercuts its own claim, noting that the billboard was removed only one day before it was scheduled to be replaced, and that it had been up for three months without any previous complaints.
And yes, a picture of the billboard accompanies the story. Because, you know, the best way to keep people from seeing a billboard is to show a picture of it to thousands of people who would have never seen the billboard in the first place.