“Dark Agenda, The War to Destroy Christian America” by David Horowitz leaps off a full page ad (A8) in the Spokesman last Thursday, November 21. (Scroll down to see a screenshot of the ad. Ads in the Spokesman are internet ephemera, they cannot be retrieved online after 30 days.)
Full page ads cost several thousand dollars to place in the Spokesman for a single day, depending on the day of the week and the exact placement. The Spokesman, like most print papers, needs the revenue, but this ad with its upper border of barbed-wire evoking a Nazi death camp, is thinly disguised Republican/Libertarian propaganda and marketing that is masquerading as a book ad.
The Spokesman ad offers the nominally $29.95 book for “free.” If you go to the ad’s website Dark411.com/Spokane, you’ll find the book is “free” for $4.95 shipping and handling costs–and access to your address, phone number, and email. This ad is like a hand reaching up to pull curious readers down a rabbit hole where they will find themselves surrounded by right wing propaganda (and ads for bogus and costly methods to cure erectile dysfunction and obesity). This ad is not about selling Horowitz’ book, it is a trapdoor into a whole right wing ecosystem.
A naive reader need not descend into the rabbit hole for the ad to serve its purpose. An uncontested statement like, “Horowitz reveals:…Why Hollywood stars like Bill Maher, who belligerently states ‘religion must die in order for mankind to live,’ are finding a huge following among the Democratic left and Millennials.” is marvelously reinforcing for any slightly aggrieved Evangelical Christian already primed from the pulpit to uncritically accept these ideas.
Like Steve Bannon, David Horowitz is best described as a “conservative provocateur.” Horowitz is 80 years old, a convert to rabid conservatism from the Marxism of his early years. He is the polarizing product of a polarized youth. Culturally Jewish, but a self described agnostic, he writes to inflame Evangelicals’ bunker mentality against all that is not Trump. Horowitz is part of the Koch “Dark Money” ecosystem, running a non-profit [501(c)(3)] “think tank,” the David Horowitz Freedom Center. The “Freedom Center” is partly funded by the far right Bradley Foundation (which features prominently in Jane Mayer’s “Dark Money.”) The “Freedom Center” has current revenue of seven million dollars. Horowitz’ think tank is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as “a far-right organization and anti-Muslim hate group.”
This man is allowed to buy a full page ad in our regional newspaper, the Spokesman Review, a newspaper with pretenses of trying to heal the divisions within our society? Shame on the Spokesman. This is an ad suited for The Daily Caller, not our local paper.
I encourage my readers to register their opinions of this this ad as a letter to the editor or an email to Rob Curley at firstname.lastname@example.org or Stacey Cowles at email@example.com .
Keep to the high ground,
P.S. Beware. David Horowitz is a common name. The characters with this name are highly varied. Learn about the provocateur David Horowitz so you can accurately identify the rubbish he writes.