Freed Journalists And Offensive Ads On The Menu


Starting September off strong, Jason Boog of GalleyCat and AgencySpy‘s Matt Van Hoven had lots of media news to talk about this morning on the Morning Media Menu podcast, including a tasteless ad and imprisoned journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee’s first statement since their release from North Korea last month.

Yesterday, Matt tracked a story on AgencySpy about a purported ad for World Wildlife Fund, which showed a scene that played off of the idea of September 11. The point of the ad, which depicted several planes nosediving into lower Manhattan, was to illustrate how many more people were killed in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami than in the World Trade Center attacks.

Once the ad became public, WWF denounced it as “offensive and tasteless” and said it never should have seen the light of day. But, now the world — or at least most of New York — has seen it, just a few days before the eighth anniversary of this horrible day in our city’s history.

And speaking of a horrible day, Matt and Jason also discussed Ling and Lee’s harrowing tale of their arrest in North Korea in March. However, Matt was quick to point out that in their statement released today, the journalists were careful to emphasize the reason that they were near North Korea at all, which was to report on sex trafficking and North Korean defectors.

“The story of these two is so compelling, but I think it’s sort of over,” Matt said. “And there is this whole other big issue that I hope doesn’t get lost.”

Also discussed: ad spending dropped more than 15 percent during the first half of the year; Laura Ling’s shopping a book with her sister, journalist and former member of “The View,” Lisa Ling; and an update on the Google book settlement.

You can listen to all the past podcasts at and call in at 646-929-0321.