Yesterday the following advertorial appeared on the Atlantic‘s website:
You can check out the Google cache here. It’s all about how great Scientology is, and 2012 was Scientology’s biggest year yet, and you should join Scientology, and no, really, you should join Scientology. Just like all of Scientology’s promotional materials, it’s got that eerie, unnatural gloss that weirds out anybody who’s not already susceptible. They try so hard to seem normal that they come off as anything but.
If you go to that page now, though, you see this:
“We have temporarily suspended this advertising campaign pending a review of our policies that govern sponsor content and subsequent comment threads.”
I think what this means is that the Atlantic allowed Scientology to moderate the Disqus comment section, and so of course they deleted all the negative comments and kept all the creepy, fawning ones. Because they’re Scientology and that’s what they do.
So, the magazine pulled the advertorial not because it was paid for by an evil, life-destroying cult, but because the evil, life-destroying cult moderated comments improperly.
Guess the Atlantic really needed the money, huh? Or thought they did. Hope it’s worth being a laughingstock. But then, they’re used to it. They used to publish Andrew Sullivan.
Update: Look like some of the staff aren’t too happy about it:
There’s no time like the present to tout my friend Larry Wright’s great new investigation of the Church of Scientology: theatlantic.com/national/archi…
— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) January 15, 2013
Update: Gregg Re has more.
Update: Sonny Bunch has some more partners for the Atlantic to team up with.
Update: “We screwed up.”