WPCNR CAMPAIGN 2013. By John F. Bailey. September 23, 2013:
A local paper had the Zuber Riders Open Letter to Noam Bramson advertisement for three days before telling the Zuber Riders for Justice two words were not acceptable, WPCNR has learned. At no time prior to 6 PM Thursday was Zuber Riders told of a legal problem with the copy.
A spokesperson for the Lincoln Zuber Riders told WPCNR Sunday that a Journal News advertising executive told him two words appearing in an advertisement “open letter” demanding an apology from New Rochelle Noam Bramson for alleged “long history of hositility towards the black community,” were objectionable and the ad could not be run with the words “conspired” and “stopped” appearing in the submitted context.
Mark McLean, the spokesperson for Lincoln Zuber said Loren Peterson, representing The Journal News told him about 6 PM last Thursday evening the two words, “conspired” and “stopped” had to be removed from the ad because, (McLean told WPCNR), the paper “was concerned about being sued.”
McLean told WPCNR he had submitted the advertisement Tuesday to run in the Journal News Friday.
McLean was frankly puzzed he said to WPCNR:
“The paper had the ad for three days, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. I gave them a check on Wednesday. I asked ’Is it going to run Friday? Is it going to run Friday?’ Thursday they called me at 6 P..M. and said it’s not going to run.”
Why an ad that was accepted for two days (almost three) then pulled out of the blue with no time to change it is a mystery to McLean.
McLean mused that the Bramson administration was holding a large festival and ribbon cutting for the reopening of the Heritage House affordable housing complex, a short distance away from Lincoln Park. But he said that was just speculation on his part .
McLean told WPCNR the following was the context of the first objectionable word flagged by the Journal News, “conspired.”
“Conspired and voted twice to intentionally destroy the one single Black majority Council in New Rochelle,violating the Voting Rights Act and a Federal Judge’s Court Order.”
The context of second flagged word, “Stopped.”
“Stopped a historic opportunity to elect the first black County Executive, Ken Jenkins, the highest elected black official in Westchester.”
McLean said he told Peterson– Lincoln Zuber was willing to change the ad, but he wanted the advertisement to run Friday, prior to the Saturday ribbon-cutting event being held in Lincoln Park Saturday. He said Peterson told him “the paper would not run the ad.”
“They were adamant about that,” McLean added.
Asked if the Robert P. Astorino campaign for County Executive had written the rejected advertisement, McLean said, “Of course not.”
Asked if the Astorino campaign had paid for the ad, McLean said “They had nothing to do with it.”
Asked if Lincoln Zuber would change the ad and attempt to run it in the future, McLean did not say they would, but the organization would “continue to focus on Noam Bramson’s record.” (with the Black Community).
Janet Hasson, President and Publisher of The Journal News was sent an E-Mail by WPCNR Sunday afternoon requesting an explanation for the rejection of the original copy. WPCNR asked:
“1. Could you please give me a statement as to why the Journal News found the ad objectionable? (Any specific violations of election law, for example?)
2. Could you explain the words you wanted them, according to the Zuber press release, you wanted them to put in the ad?
3. Would you have run the ad if Zuber had made the changes?”
So far there has been no response from Ms. Hasson, or The Journal News. WPCNR placed a call to the newsroom this morning, again giving the opportunity for Ms. Hasson to give The Journal News side of why the ad was rejected.