Here's the article and a link to the website, where you can also watch the newscast which aired last night:
Atheist group releases ad campaign on Boston subways:
"BOSTON -- A controversial new ad campaign hitting "The Hub" is encouraging people to "stop believing."
Ads promoting atheism are showing up on many Boston MBTA trains and some commuters are wondering if they go too far.
"It's not my viewpoint but it sounds like it's the viewpoint of others," said one man.
"Why shouldn't they have their own say?" asked another. "We get bombarded with ads for church."
The Boston Area Coalition of Reason launched the ad campaign and the posters read: "Good without God? 40 Million Americans are."
"There's been some negative reaction but really not much," said David Niose of Bostoncor.org. "Most of the reaction has been quite positive. There's a lot of secular Americans out there who are just thrilled to see a group coming forth and demonstrating that secular Americans can be good, decent citizens. And its not an identity that needs to be kept in the closet."
The group has spent $11,000 on ads on more than 200 subway cars in Boston.
The point of this Good without God campaign is to reach out to the millions of humanists, atheists, and agnostics living in the United States, said Fred Edwords, head of the United Coalition of Reason, which is sponsoring the campaign in Boston.
The group plans to launch campaigns in more than 10 other U.S. cities.
(Copyright (c) 2009 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)"
As I'm sure you all picked up on, there is a large, glaring factual inaccuracy in the above article, namely that the ads "encourage" people to "stop believing". Watching the story air last night, I was nearly pulling out my hair by the end due to the blatant misreporting done by the WHDH team. I got angry and wrote them a stiff letter, below. I have yet to receive a reply, but I figured I would share it with you all:
After just watching the short story aired about the Boston Coalition
of Reason's new secular ads appearing on the T, I have to say how
appalled I am at not only that you found this story newsworthy, but how
you handled it. As an atheist, I am proud and thrilled that this often
ostracized group, especially in such a Christian-centered nation, is
finally reaching out to others who may be afraid to admit their lack of
belief. It is a mobilizing effort, helping other atheists to come out of
their atheist closet and embrace who they are. However, you blatantly
aired false information about this ad campaign, claiming that it
"encourages" people to give up their faith, which it in no way does. By
stating, "Good without God? 40 million Americans are", the ads state a
fact; they do not at all say that being an atheist is better, being an
atheist makes someone smarter, or that having faith in a god or gods
makes someone less desirable. If you can falsify something as basic as
this - something as simple as clearly misrepresenting the message of 40
MILLION Americans - what else are you falsifying on your news show?
But since you seem to find this so newsworthy, I'd like to tip you
off on another MBTA ad I've seen! As a frequent rider of the orange
line, I have seen ads multiple times for the Walnut Street Gospel Hall
in Saugus, MA, part of the Assembly of God Christian group. They
encouraged me to go to their church, to let Christ Jesus into my life,
so surely you could work this into your next newscast. Isn't that
controversial? Isn't it offensive to people like me who don't believe in
Well no, not really, because while I don't believe in God, I do
believe in first amendment rights. So next time, please leave well
enough alone unless you're willing to report FACTS.
Singed an angry Atheist,
Too over the top perhaps, or just right? I just wanted to make it very clear that I was seriously pissed off by their handling of the story.