Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Special Delivery

For one of my faculty colleagues, today's edition of the Los Angeles Times on her doorstep included a disk of the movie Obsession: Radical Islam's War against the West. Since my copy of the LA Times did not include the controversial film, which -- according to the New York Times -- is "the latest flashpoint in the bitter campus debate over the Middle East, not just because of its clips from Arab television rarely shown in the West, including scenes of suicide bombers being recruited and inducted, but also because of its pro-Israel distribution network," I am assuming that this was a fluke, particularly since my colleague is Israeli, and I could not find any mentions of this form of distribution from sources at the paper. According to the website, creators of the film are assuming that at least some of the film's audience will watch it online for $4.95 rather than pay ten dollars more for the DVD.

Nonetheless, this conjunction of print media and digital video raises an interesting possibility, that political causes that now pay for full-page ads may choose to use digital media packaged with the newspaper to get their points across in ways that seem sanctioned by our formerly Pulitzer Prize-winning institution of local journalism.

Update: I saw the actual DVD, which turned out to have been packaged with The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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