01 December 2008

Attempting To Stir Controversy

Here's a story in the New York Times (surprise) about an ad in the recent issue of American Heritage Magazine. It's basically a piece infected with the PC mindset attempting to stir controversy where there is none. The ad in question features a ring which displays the Confederate flag along with an inscription "Pride of the South." Big whoop.

Evidently, the reporter assumes it's sacrilege to display such an ad in an issue dedicated to President Abraham Lincoln - that's the real "issue" here.

James McPherson also weighs in stating that he would have "protested" had he known about the ad beforehand. Right. So now we're going to have historians protesting ads with Confederate flags? What's next, a boycott of Kunstler, Strain, et al? What utter silliness. As other CW bloggers have pointed out, McPherson's articles regularly appear in magazines featuring ads with products displaying the Confederate flag in much less tasteful ways than this. I agree with one blogger who said that that McPherson's comment is "truly remarkable." If McPherson's position in the future is to boycott such magazines, he will find his writing opportunities greatly diminished. I also agree that displaying the Confederate battle flag on bikinis and the like is tasteless at best and disrespectful at worst.

The magazine's editor said running the ad was "a little uncomfortable." Really? Not enough, though I suppose, to return the check, hmmm?

Though I would not wear a ring like the one displayed, it is not disrespectful or tasteless. I could also see a similar ring design using the Unites States flag, either Civil War period or modern.


cenantua said...

"The magazine's editor said running the ad was 'a little uncomfortable.' Really? Not enough, though I suppose, to return the check, hmmm?"

First, I find it hard to believe that a final edit went to press without the chief editor realizing all that was in the content of the issue, even down to the ads. So, I'm not sure I'm buying the "little uncomfortable" thing.

Second, the magazine is a business. The purchase of the ad fueled production of the magazine. Economic times what they are...

Third, it's a little too late to return the check, don't you think?

Fourth, the "uncomfortable" the editor is feeling is just part of the attention being drawn to the publication. The resulting "gasp" of society will probably sell more magazines. So, "discomfort" may be expressed by the editor, but I'm willing to bet they are hoping the attention drawn because of it will pay larger than average sales.

- Robert

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

I agree totally. The check comment was an attempt at sarcasm.

cenantua said...

I figured it was sarcasm, but I'm not ruling out the possibility that they money might still be returned. It will be interesting to see what is more important to the magazine... the money for the ad or the voice of those unhappy with the ad. I'm betting on the money, and thinking that the magazine is thinking that (as I said before) the controversy will bring more money in sales... and the controversy will be forgotten soon enough. It will also be interesting to see if this will really bring about any changes... and of course, that is dependent on anybody actually monitoring the magazine to see if there will be changes. - Robert

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

Wow. McPherson said that?

*...begins to dislike...*

Jubilo said...

Dear Sir ,
McPherson : in person a pleasant person but in reality a race relations professor posing in historian's clothing .
David Corbett

Michael Aubrecht said...

Are we actually having this discussion? An American history magazine is uncomfortable with the imagery of a Confederate flag in an ad? Ridiculous...

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...


Yes, quite ridiculous.


I've never met the good Professor, so I couldn't respond to your comment. I do know that he is one of the historians who made a public endorsement of President-elect Obama.

Texas Guy said...

I find it uncomfortable that they display an article on Abraham Lincoln. Just joking, but still thats just about as ridiculous.