The Gray Lady will not stay silent. The New York Times is set to air a TV ad titled “The Truth Is Hard” during the 2017 Oscars on Sunday, February 26, in response to Donald Trump’s attacks on the media.
The 30-second spot starts with a declaration on the screen: “The truth is our nation is more divided than ever.” It then includes audio of different voices from news clips, with contradictory statements flashing across the screen, such as “alternative facts are lies,” “the media is dishonest,” “women should dress like women” and “women’s rights are human rights.”
The ad closes with: “The truth is hard. The truth is hard to find. The truth is hard to know. The truth is more important now than ever.”
This is The New York Times’ first TV commercial since 2010, according to the Associated Press, and it comes just two days after the Times, CNN, the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, Politico, Buzzfeed and other news organizations were denied entry to a press briefing on Friday, February 24.
“The idea is to be a part of that discussion about what does it mean to find the truth,” newspaper branding exec David Rubin told CNNMoney. “What does that mean in a world of ‘fake news’? And what is the role of journalism and journalists in that process, and what is the role of the reader in supporting that journalism?”
Donald Trump caught wind of the ad and aired his grievances via Twitter on Sunday, February 26. “For first time the failing @nytimes will take an ad (a bad one) to save its failing reputation,” the 70-year-old real estate mogul wrote. “Try reporting accurately & fairly!”
On Saturday, the former Celebrity Apprentice host took to Twitter to announce that he will not be attending this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, a night usually organized by the president and the journalists who cover the White House. Given Trump’s tense relationship with the press, several major news organizations including Vanity Fair, the New York Times and Buzzfeed News have already announced that they plan to sit out the April 29 event.
The White House Correspondents’ Association posted its own statement to Twitter after Trump’s announcement, noting that the annual dinner will carry on as usual. “The WHCA takes note of President Donald Trump’s announcement on Twitter that he does not plan to attend the dinner, which has been and will continue to be a celebration of the First Amendment and the important role played by an independent news media in a healthy republic,” Jeff Mason, the association’s president, wrote. “We look forward to shining a spotlight at the dinner on some of the best political journalism of the past year and recognizing promising students who represent the next generation of our profession.”
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