The New York Times launched a marketing campaign stressing the importance of facts during the Oscars Sunday night.
The ad only shows a white screen with black text. As audio clips of people saying what “the truth is” play, the text, beginning with “The truth is…” changes. The one-liners include statements President Donald Trump has said, including “the media is dishonest” and “leaking classified information is the real scandal,” referring to one of Trump’s tweets about leaks to the media. They also include opinionated statements on policies from immigration to gun control.
The ad ends with the text, “The truth is hard … hard to find … hard to know … more important now than ever.”
The 30-second video, the Times’ first television ad since 2010, comes amid tension between the press and Trump. The president has accused the Times of being “fake news,” repeatedly attacked the paper and other media outlets on Twitter and in speeches and recently barred the Times and others from a press briefing.
Trump even tweeted his disapproval of the ad before it aired, writing, “the failing @nytimes will take an ad (a bad one) to help save its failing reputation. Try reporting accurately & fairly!” He incorrectly wrote in the tweet that it was the “first time” the paper had a televised ad.
The Times said the ad was meant “to show that producing quality, independent journalism requires resources, commitment and expertise and that it’s important that people support it.”
Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the Times’ publisher, said the paper is committed to “properly resourced, tough-minded and independent journalism, delivered without fear or favor.”
“In a world where there is so much uncertainty about what is real and what is fake news, we remain steadfastly committed to a search for the truth,” he said in a statement.