Mag Publicity Stunts Part II: Radar Hops On The Anti-Scientology Bandwagon

0318radar.jpg A long time ago, Radar and Gawker ran an epic feud that caught the attention of bloggers, socially awkward New York media critics and editorial assistants with plenty of free time. Gawker took the piss out of Radar‘s second and third relaunches, even to the extent of making Radar baseball cards (graphics missing thanks to it being from 2005 and all, but you get the damn idea).

Then Radar‘s Maer Roshan escalated the feud when Nick Denton got hit by a cream pie at the Radar launch party.

But that’s all in the past — 2005, y’know? Ancient history.

Nowadays, Gawker’s page-view grabbing coverage of various Church of Scientology shenanigans has been garnering extremely positive media coverage. Among them, Radar‘s April issue — with a Church of Scientology/Tom Cruise cover. Here’s an excerpt from Radar‘s article (by John Cook):

The Tom Cruise video first appeared on YouTube on January 14, the day before Morton’s biography went on sale. (According to one longtime critic of Scientology who is in contact with other anti-cult activists, the leak was purposefully timed to coincide with the book’s release.) It was up for one day before the Church forced YouTube to take it down, citing copyright infringement. The clumsy attempt at censorship angered many on the Web, including the Manhattan media site Gawker, which obtained its own copy and continues to host the video despite the threat of a lawsuit. At press time, the footage had been viewed more than 2.7 million times.

See? Feud over. However, we’re fans of the article’s money quote from Scientology critic/CMU professor Dave Touretzky on the combination of attacks from Anonymous and several high-profile church defections: “I just can’t believe what’s happened over the last six months. It’s all falling apart for Scientology now. We’re looking at the end times for them.”