Daily Cal Issues Apology Over Controversial Ad





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The Daily Californian is facing tough questions today, as the campus community continues to react to an advertisement the newspaper published criticizing reparations for slavery.

The newspaper printed a front page apology yesterday for publishing the full-page ad that ran in Wednesday's edition. The apology was printed on behalf of the Senior Editorial Board and stated that the ad allowed the Daily Cal to "become an inadvertent vehicle for bigotry."

The ad, titled "Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Slavery is a Bad Idea-And Racist Too," proclaimed that slavery was self-inflicted by blacks and that efforts for reparations should be stopped. It was bought by David Horowitz, a prominent conservative writer who holds a master's degree from UC Berkeley, to promote his new book.

Several students gathered at the newspaper's office on Wednesday demanding to know why the ad was run, and the newspaper promptly agreed to run an apology.

The Daily Cal also published a full-length piece from its editor in chief yesterday, openly apologizing for the ad and detailing how the ad managed to make it into the paper. Editor in Chief Daniel Hernandez said in his apology that the newspaper was revealed to have serious flaws in its structure, but that those would now be addressed.

"A major breakdown of our internal communication occurred this week," the editor's apology said. "I promise readers this will not happen again."

Hernandez and the newspaper's general manager, Hubert Brucker, met with more than 20 students and community members yesterday on the top floor of Eshleman Hall to discuss the ad and the newspaper's policy.

Students delivered a list of demands that they requested the editor carry out. The newspaper had already agreed to allow the students a full-page space to place a rebuttal to the ad, as well as letters from readers.

"That we ran a front page apology and complied with so many reader requests is telling of the fact that we all feel deeply sorry for what happened," Hernandez said. "As I said in my apology, there is no institutional racism running rampant at the Daily Cal. We are ashamed and embarrassed, but will do all we can to rectify the situation."

But some students are not convinced. Jackie Lindsey, a UC Berkeley student, said she was disappointed with the newspaper's apologies.

"I was extremely upset and disappointed that the so-called apology seemed more like a list of excuses and procedures that should have been followed instead of an apology," she said. "I expected more."

A coalition of students also involved in the current drive to repeal the UC system's ban on affirmative action circulated a flier yesterday accusing the Daily Cal of racism.

"The refusal of the Daily Cal to run a full front-page apology for the racist ad placed by David Horowitz is a mode of silent support," the flier said.

As the Bay Area media took to reporting on the story, similar events took place this week at UC Davis.

The campus newspaper, operated by the ASUCD, ran the same ad Wednesday. The California Aggie Editor in Chief Eleeza Agopian also ran an apology inside the newspaper's Thursday edition.

"It came as a total surprise to me when I opened up the paper (Wednesday)," she said. "That ad completely violated our ad policy. Had we seen this ad beforehand, we never would have published it."

UC Davis students protested the ad in front of their Memorial Union, attracting about a hundred people, Agopian said.

"It's really unfortunate that it happened on the last day of Black History Month," Agopian said. "This hinders any sort of effort to create an open environment, and we're working very hard to build back the trust that we lost today."

Other college newspapers were apparently targeted by Horowitz's ad campaign. A Web site operated by the Center for Popular Culture cited 30 universities that received the ad, including Stanford, several Ivy League schools, UC and CSU campuses. Horowitz, a former liberal activist, is president of the center.

Horowitz has appeared on BET, the black cable television network, defending his conservative views. Horowitz edited Rampart, an influential left wing magazine, during the 1960s.

The Daily Cal is planning to intensely examine its ad policy because of this week's events. Hernandez added that the newspaper has received more letters about the ad than any other issue this year.

Note: To view a copy of

the ad, click href="http://frontpagemag.com/horowitzsnotepad/2001/rep_ad.htm"

target="_new">here.

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