Delta Explains Why It 'Just Wasn't Comfortable' with 'The Daily Show'

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Delta Airlines has taken some criticism for pulling their ads from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart after the Catholic League protested a coy image of woman with her legs spread, but a Delta spokeperson told The Atlantic Wire Thursday the decision wasn't pegged to the Catholic League's campaign. "It wasn't. We just weren't comfortable with the graphic nature of their image that was used on the show," Delta's Leslie Parker said.

Catholic League President Bill Donohue was quick to declare Delta's decision his first victory, but Parker was clear that their issues were different. The Catholic League said the image—which incorporated a manger—was offensive to Christians, not just generally inappropriate for television (or for Delta's ad strategy.) Of course, Delta tried to say at the beginning of all this that their decision wasn't pegged to the campaign (leaving out that their objections was still prompted by the same image.) Many people didn't quite believe them. In the days since Catholic League President Bill Donohue congratulated them and suggested we all fly Delta, those who are slightly less sympathetic to Donohue's other causes suggested quite the opposite, with Tweets like this one: "You just lost a customer (long time frequent flyer). You cave to right wing pressure...Bye."

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You might still not believe that Delta didn't flee from the little controversy the Catholic League started. But, hey, while Donohue's demanding an apology from Stewart, Delta's not demanding anything from him. "This does not preclude us from going back to The Daily Show as an advertiser in the future," Parker said. Better cancel those frequent flyer memberships, Donohue.

Here's the offending Stewart segment, by the way:


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.