The Nashville Tennessean, the most widely circulated newspaper in Tennessee, is under fire Sunday morning after publishing an advertisement written by a possible Christian doomsday cult, which erroneously claims "Islam" will detonate a nuclear bomb in Nashville on July 18. The Tennessean, which is part of the USA Today Network, launched an investigation into the "horrific" ad. Several journalists who work for the paper took to Twitter to denounce the ad and demand answers.
The shocking and bizarre advertisement featured a banner with President Donald Trump and Pope Francis and was addressed to the "Citizens of Nashville." It begins with the "Ministry of Future for America" claiming that "Islam is going to detonate a nuclear device in Nashville, Tennessee." The group further claims it knows about this because of a "Bible prophecy" and predicted Trump will be the "final president of the USA."
After a tweet with the ad went viral, The Tennessean announced plans to launch an investigation into how the ad ended up in the paper. Sales executives ordered the ad to be pulled from all future editions and said the ad was a "violation of the newspaper's long-established standards." Michael A. Anastasi, vice president and editor of The Tennessean, said there was a "breakdown in the normal processes, which call for careful scrutiny of our advertising content."
This morning, the Nashville @Tennessean — the largest newspaper in the state — published a full-page ad from a far-right client warning “Islam is going to detonate a nuclear device in Nashville, Tennessee.” It’s accompanied by photos of Donald Trump and Pope Francis. pic.twitter.com/9vvUbteSIh— Alex Martin Smith (@asmiff) June 21, 2020
“The ad is horrific and is utterly indefensible in all circumstances. It is wrong, period, and should have never been published," Anastasi continued. "It has hurt members of our community and our own employees and that saddens me beyond belief. It is inconsistent with everything The Tennessean as an institution stands and has stood for."
This ad is horrifying and dangerous. As others have said, reporters have no say in or oversight of ads. That doesn’t excuse the actions of those who do oversee them to approve and run this. https://t.co/69akyzstdZ— Mariah Timms (@MariahTimms) June 21, 2020
All of this sucks. I feel sick seeing replies right now from people canceling subscriptions. I’m frustrated I can’t find out more due to furlough.
But remember that me and other @Tennessean reporters have consistently identified and written about local anti-Islam efforts.— Natalie Allison (@natalie_allison) June 21, 2020
Many Tennessean reporters also denounced the ad and reminded readers they do not operate with the sales team. Reporter Natalie Allison called it "appalling" and felt "sick seeing replies right now from people canceling subscriptions." Journalists at the paper "work to raise marginalized voices and call out injustice," reporter Adam Tamburin wrote. "It's heartbreaking to all of us when decisions beyond our control subvert that mission. We will demand answers."prevnext
Today, the largest newspaper in Tennessee(@Tennessean) displayed a full-page ad warning that “Islam is going to detonate a nuclear device in Nashville” on July 18th.
Yes, Islam. As in - the entire religion? This newspaper is promoting a domestic war on Islam. What is happening? pic.twitter.com/BOdXs2Kh7S— McAuleyATL (@McAuleyATL) June 21, 2020
This is not so much an ad as a ranting manifesto against Islam. The Tennessean published an anti-Islam manifesto. #CancelTheTennessean— 🍸 Blondish 🍸 (@iluvherbie) June 21, 2020
That makes 2 of us. Between the godawful functionality and layout of the website, the continual drain of talent over the last few years (esp in sports), and the general decline in the overall quality of the product, this is the last straw. Scene and NBJ are far superior— Mike Bush (@mikebushTN) June 21, 2020
Tennessee’s largest paper, @Tennessean, printed this ad today on page A7 claiming “on July 18, 2020, Islam is going to detonate a nuclear device in Nashville”
I will be canceling my subscription moving forward unless serious changes are made internally. pic.twitter.com/4boEVBGowS— Real Politik Podcast 🔻🏴 (@PaulRealPolitik) June 21, 2020