Tony Ortega: The Atlantic Magazine Becomes Scientology’s Newest “Ideal Org”

Thrak

Gold Meritorious Patron
Do you have any doubts or reservations about what the world really thinks of Scientology? :omg:
 

Type4_PTS

Diamond Invictus SP
Do you have any doubts or reservations about what the world really thinks of Scientology? :omg:

The Atlantic readers don't seem to appreciate Scientology very much. :no:

Tony Ortega saved all the comments prior to Atlantic deleting them all and it's interesting to see even though the critical comments didn't make it past the moderator:
http://tonyortega.org/2013/01/14/the-atlantic-magazine-becomes-scientologys-newest-ideal-org/

Here's an example:

Someone made a comment: "I don't think this presents the whole story" It was voted up 587-5. :biggrin:

AtlComm1-e1358224701985.jpg
 

CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
Gothamist: Behold The Bizarre Scientology Advertorial The Atlantic Pulled From Its Website

http://gothamist.com/2013/01/15/behold_the_bizarre_scientology_adve.php

Interesting excerpt:
Update 3:11 p.m.: An Atlantic official with knowledge of the situation spoke with us on condition of anonymity, because she was not authorized to discuss the matter. "The main reason why we chose to take down this particular sponsored post was because of the commenting feature," says the employee. "For the first several hours, the comments were largely positive. But our moderator team was moderating the comments. Many advertisers choose to have comments disabled." But in this case, the comments were enabled, and the Atlantic employee was unsure why.

"What we saw with this subject matter is that people have very strong opinions," the Atlantic official adds. "And when we realized the commenting was being so moderated we realized we had to take a step back and review the policy for moderating comments on these kinds of posts, and to think about whether these kinds of posts should have comments."
The Nation: After Protests, 'The Atlantic' Removes Scientology Advertorial

http://www.thenation.com/blog/172216/after-angry-protests-atlantic-removes-scientology-advertorial#

Excerpt:
Yes, “sponsored” content is nothing new, but this came from a particularly controversial, even evil (in the eyes of some) source. Even apart from the content, I quickly pointed out that unlike most such sections—say, in print newspapers or magazines—this material appeared under a big The Atlantlic logo on a page that looked little different than other feature spreads on the site. And the “sponsored content” label was quite small at the top, even if smeared with yellow.
Forbes: The Atlantic On That Scientology Advertorial: 'We Screwed Up'

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffber...n-that-scientology-advertorial-we-screwed-up/

Interesting excerpt:
The second issue is whether The Atlantic handled this particular piece of sponsor content in the right way. It obviously didn’t, particularly in screening out negative comments in a way that created an Astroturf-like false impression of favorable reader response.
The Wrap: Why the Atlantic Removed the Scientology Advertorial (Updated)

http://www.thewrap.com/media/column-post/why-atlantic-removed-scientology-advertorial-73156

Interesting excerpt:
But, normally, advertisers do not want comment threads under their paid-for content, and while this has never been a problem for previous Atlantic clients, the heated feelings surrounding Scientology erupted in the comment section below the article.

The Atlantic's marketing team was moderating the comments -- about 20 in all before the post was pulled -- as they were posted, Raabe said.


"In this case, where a mistake was made, where we are taking a hard look at these things, is there were comments allowed on this post," an Atlantic official with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap. "For a subject like this where people very strong feelings, we realized there's not a clear policy in place for things like commenting."
A nice tweet:

https://twitter.com/jakedobkin/statuses/290998019858497536
jake dobkin
@jakedobkin


Buzzfeed's "15 Cats That Look Like Lord Xenu" is just going to kill tomorrow
And of course The Onion:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/sponsored-the-taliban-is-a-vibrant-and-thriving-po,30910/?ref=auto

Excerpt:
SPONSORED: The Taliban Is A Vibrant And Thriving Political Movement

NewsNews ISSUE 49•03 • Jan 15, 2013


700.jpg

Members of the world’s fastest-growing Islamic fundamentalist organization.

KABUL—2012 proved to be just another in a succession of landmark years for the Taliban, as the influential Islamic fundamentalist organization continued its awe-inspiring push toward unprecedented expansion.

Even following a decade marked with some difficulties, the devoted members of the Afghani cultural and political movement have proven consistently successful in their trailblazing efforts to continue the Taliban’s constant recruiting of talented and diverse young insurgents and building its thriving base of support from politicians and citizens alike to over 30 times that of a decade ago.
 
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TG1

Angelic Poster
:happydance:

I see this whole Atlantic Monthly hilarity as final proof that the press is taking their revenge cold. This revenge has been a long time coming. We all remember the cult's lawsuit(s) against Time magazine and how that ended (not well for Time).

Now, more than 20 years later, ALL the media outlets and ALL the press in the world despise the Church of Scientology. They are thumbing their noses and waving their bare blue butts at the cult and doing so with impunity. Now, the diminished Church of Scientology is so despised by the Fifth Estate that the cult cannot even purchase advertising from them, impoverished as the print media are right now.

Now if only NBC would refuse to accept the cult's advertising.

This is delicious in so many ways.

TG1
 

CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
Poynter: The Atlantic publishes then pulls sponsored content from Church of Scientology

http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/...sponsored-content-from-church-of-scientology/

Excerpt:
Journalists had raised questions about how comments on the sponsored content were moderated, compared to how comments are moderated on other Atlantic content.

Initial comments on the story appeared to be exclusively supportive of Scientology, including these:



Read more comments on this screenshot from Ben Welsh.

Later comments were more skeptical.


Read more later comments here.

Atlantic spokesperson Natalie Raabe tells The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple, “Our marketing team was monitoring some of the comments,” which has triggered the need to review that process.

 

CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
Excellent observation from WWP:

https://forums.whyweprotest.net/com...newest-“ideal-org”.108107/page-3#post-2258748
In other words, Scientology paid for an ad that they wanted to have a specific outcome too, they paid for a fluff piece and did not get it because the comments section provided an outlet for the truth. All the Clams that were being told to go a ready this bit were being exposed to entheta. Scientology must have pressed The Atlantic to sensor the comments (as it was their ad and they felt they could control the response). This did not work out because we live in the age of Anonymous and the internet. Clearly Scientology has learned very little if anything from the Tom Cruise debacle when they tried to get that video pulled.
 

Thrak

Gold Meritorious Patron
:happydance:

I see this whole Atlantic Monthly hilarity as final proof that the press is taking their revenge cold. This revenge has been a long time coming. We all remember the cult's lawsuit(s) against Time magazine and how that ended (not well for Time).

Now, more than 20 years later, ALL the media outlets and ALL the press in the world despise the Church of Scientology. They are thumbing their noses and waving their bare blue butts at the cult and doing so with impunity. Now, the diminished Church of Scientology is so despised by the Fifth Estate that the cult cannot even purchase advertising from them, impoverished as the print media are right now.

Now if only NBC would refuse to accept the cult's advertising.

This is delicious in so many ways.

TG1

Yeah talk about burning a bridge. And the pun was intended.
 

iconoclast

New Member
"The lunatic fringe has always been with us. In every age there have been people who have been willing to believe anything so long as it was sufficiently improbable. Religion, economics, science, politics have all had - and still have - their fanatical minorities who devote their fortunes, their energies, and often their lives to the cause they have made their own.

They show the humorless monomania, that inability to see any other point of view, that distinguishes the crank from the enthusiast.

The driving force behind all such extremists is a mixture of fear and ignorance. Human nature being what it is, the lunatic fringe can never be abolished, and most of us, if the truth be told, would hate to see it vanish altogether. But education can minimize its influence, can convert it from a potential danger to a source of mild amusement."

- Arthur C. Clarke
 

Andtheyalllived

Patron with Honors
Re: The Atlantic says "sorry" for the scientology advert

The company's real writers were not pleased.

The decision on the part of the Atlantic to give a platform to Scientology and its leader, Miscavige — whose alleged abuses and questionable fund-raising tactics have been the subject of intense scrutiny over the past few years — sparked a furor on Twitter last night. Several Atlantic staffers vented their frustrations in public, with social media editor Chris Heller tweeting, "I am furious."

"I didn't know about it," wrote senior editor Alexis Madrigal. "Let me see what I can find out." James Fallows chimed in: "Thanks for asking! Yes, I have seen our 'sponsored' feature. I have things to say about it, but not tonight."

Editorial staffers were quick to blame the business side of the Atlantic for the embarrassment, claiming they were caught off guard by the post and the ensuing uproar. A source familiar with the matter tells Daily Intelligencer that the editorial staff at the Atlantic was "blindsided" by the debacle, leaving many in the newsroom "livid." This source described employees as "horrified" by the post.

Read Full Article: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer...tml?mid=google

I work in media. I am on the content side, but I am very sympathetic to the side that keeps us in business.

We have the "If we suck, they won't come back to us" vs the "if we don't sell ads, they'll have nothing to come back to" talk every day.

I can't imagine the big editorial dogs risking the brand for this, and I don't think (from the above, which absolutely looks sincere) the staffers knew. This looks like your run of the mill tie guy sold the space, and it slipped through. The beauty of all this is that the "Folks" On Top (as Marty would say) weren't clued in by their staff or real life that Scientology is PR poison. And NOW they all KNOW.

And I'm shocked at how many other outlets picked up this story! But it's not The Atlantic or Gawker, this wouldn't have meant anything without "people are losing their minds on twitter!"
Wow.

The pix were sad: Those people bussed in, those who will be the last little guys sweeping up the last empty ideal org. They will be the most idealistic, the ones who are most vulnerable because they're true believers... Not cynical at all. They trust their "church," and know nothing about the outside battle - just that the internet is filled with bad guys.
 

CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
Comment posted on Marty's blog:

http://markrathbun.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/evolution/#comment-249230

CommunicatorIC | January 15, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Reply

Off topic, but I suspect of interest to people here. Tony Ortega quotes Mike Rinder on The Atlantic magazine debacle:

******************************

“It REALLY shows desperation and fear about the upcoming media nightmare surrounding Larry Wright’s book. That ad cost some cash.

Interestingly, it is ONLY trying to make Miscavige look good to his existing income base. It isn’t written for the general public (i.e., readers of Atlantic). They don’t give a damn about “Ideal Orgs” and could care less how many of them he “opened” (Funny they are now including re-”opening” old “Ideal Orgs” like Buffalo, DC, Los Gatos and San Jose). And it’s all about Miscavige. This would be like the Mormons trying to promote their religion by talking about Thomas Monson and showing pictures of LDS temples. Weird. And it would turn off anyone they were trying to convert. When they pitch new people (like ANY other religion) they pitch their beliefs and the good work they do for people and how joining their church is going to help you.

Miscavige wants to be able to show this to the suckers at his next “international event” (March 13) and pretend it’s “massive media coverage.” And for those that ask, it will be “this is what your donations to the IAS pay for.”

*******************************

http://tonyortega.org/2013/01/14/the-atlantic-magazine-becomes-scientologys-newest-ideal-org/


And to note an observation from another forum, “As a result of this stroke of genius someone has managed to get David Miscavige “positioned” with both the Taliban and Dread Cthulhu.”

http://boingboing.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Cthulhu.jpg

http://boingboing.net/2013/01/14/dread-cthulhu-leads-his-cult-t.html

http://www.theonion.com/articles/sponsored-the-taliban-is-a-vibrant-and-thriving-po,30910/
 

Thrak

Gold Meritorious Patron
Re: The Atlantic says "sorry" for the scientology advert

I work in media. I am on the content side, but I am very sympathetic to the side that keeps us in business.

We have the "If we suck, they won't come back to us" vs the "if we don't sell ads, they'll have nothing to come back to" talk every day.

I can't imagine the big editorial dogs risking the brand for this, and I don't think (from the above, which absolutely looks sincere) the staffers knew. This looks like your run of the mill tie guy sold the space, and it slipped through. The beauty of all this is that the "Folks" On Top (as Marty would say) weren't clued in by their staff or real life that Scientology is PR poison. And NOW they all KNOW.

Yeah the media storm was amazing and some of the comments from The Atlantic were interesting like "We screwed up". I'm trying to figure out exactly what he means by that. Does he mean "everybody knows scientology is a batshit crazy UFO cult and we would never run one of their ads in our right minds?". Or is it more subtle like "we would never run a fluff piece like that for anybody in our right minds".

In any case I feel bad for The Atlantic. What a painfully stupid thing to do.
 

Type4_PTS

Diamond Invictus SP
Re: The Atlantic says "sorry" for the scientology advert

I work in media. I am on the content side, but I am very sympathetic to the side that keeps us in business.

We have the "If we suck, they won't come back to us" vs the "if we don't sell ads, they'll have nothing to come back to" talk every day.

I can't imagine the big editorial dogs risking the brand for this, and I don't think (from the above, which absolutely looks sincere) the staffers knew. This looks like your run of the mill tie guy sold the space, and it slipped through. The beauty of all this is that the "Folks" On Top (as Marty would say) weren't clued in by their staff or real life that Scientology is PR poison. And NOW they all KNOW.

And I'm shocked at how many other outlets picked up this story! But it's not The Atlantic or Gawker, this wouldn't have meant anything without "people are losing their minds on twitter!"
Wow.

The pix were sad: Those people bussed in, those who will be the last little guys sweeping up the last empty ideal org. They will be the most idealistic, the ones who are most vulnerable because they're true believers... Not cynical at all. They trust their "church," and know nothing about the outside battle - just that the internet is filled with bad guys.


If you work in media you may be interested in this Washington Post piece from earlier today....

It's a good article that discusses the ethical concerns of what are called "Advertorials"

Atlantic fiasco renews ethics concerns about advertorials
“Advertorials” are the chameleons of the media business — advertisements that look like the editorial copy that surrounds them. At their most sophisticated, they can lull readers into believing that they’re consuming articles with the same neutrality, authority and credibility as an adjacent news or feature story.

And some of them go a bit too far.

Read Full Article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifes...287dfc-5f5f-11e2-9940-6fc488f3fecd_story.html
 

NoName

A Girl Has No Name
Purple Rain;76669[REDIRECT said:
[/REDIRECT]0]As a result of this stroke of genius someone has managed to get David Miscavige "positioned" with both the Taliban and Dread Cthulhu.

That Onion piece was pure awesome. Except I kinda think the Taliban might still have more members than the cult.

Now if only Obama would pay as much attention to the cult as he does the Taliban.....
 
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