if you won’t stay, don’t leave like this

all we can do

I can’t help it. I understand that advertising generates revenue, that well laid out, substantial content needs support and sustenance. However, it irks me every time I see the ad for the Fast-track Green Card program on the Tribune website. Specifically targeting “wealthy individuals”.

What the hell, man?

This is not about America, or the national impression of the country as an international bully. There are many wonderful things about the United States that we’re not going to talk about right now, because disclaimers will distort the direction of this rant. It would also be unreasonable to say that there should be no exit options for those who blanche at the prospect of being caught indefinitely in a spiral of political and economic instability.  Things aren’t so good at home; people should be free to explore other avenues, find excitement and adventure in lands of promise and opportunity. But if they are to leave behind a ragged, bleeding country, let it not be through a click on the website of a national newspaper.

There is something to be said about ethical endorsements. And you can’t tell me that a ubiquitous image, sometimes visible as a banner at the end of an op-ed, is not registered and saved somewhere in the reader’s mind. Or that there is no mechanism for sifting and selecting what appears on that home page.

Maybe I’m getting carried away – I have to remind myself that I have no stakes in this paper. But it is the first in the country to have a refreshingly honest agenda, that resonates with those who still have the gall to believe in Possibility. Yes to education, yes to healthcare, yes to the empowerment of a generation that is keenly aware of the world and all its greys and blues. Newsprint, it’s never black and white.

But the irony of this red, white and blue promotional image next to exclusive coverage of drone strikes – it irks me. It offends my sensibilities, there’s nothing I can do.

I might just prefer the eyesore of an icon promoting Pakistani matrimony. Although we’ll also have to give that one some serious thought.


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