Washington Post to Run Super Bowl Ad on Importance of Journalism, Narrated by Tom Hanks
The Washington Post will air a commercial during the Super Bowl on Sunday paying tribute to the importance of journalism and journalists throughout history and today, the newspaper reported Friday.
The commercial, according to the Post, will show “scenes from major news events from World War II through the present day.”
Actor Tom Hanks will narrate the ad.
Hanks, who played Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee in the 2017 movie “The Post,” will describe “the role of journalists as eyewitnesses and gatherers of fact as well as the profession’s larger importance to society. The commercial ends with The Washington Post’s logo and its slogan, ‘Democracy Dies in Darkness.'”
According to the newspaper, the commercial will show several journalists who have been killed or are missing. They include Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed in October at the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul.
Khashoggi was a frequent critic of the Saudi government in his columns. The CIA concluded the Saudi crown prince ordered Khashoggi’s killing, two sources told CNN in November.
President Donald Trump received criticism from both the right and left for not condemning more strongly Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi government for Khashoggi’s death.
At the time, Trump said in a statement, “We may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran.”
The Washington Post has spoken out against the administration’s lack of response.
Trump is a frequent critic of the media, occasionally calling the media “the enemy of the people.” He has requntly labeled reports by news outlets, including the Post and CNN, “fake news.”
The Post launched its “Democracy Dies in Darkness” campaign in 2017 in response to Trump’s rhetoric.
The announcement of the Super Bowl ad comes the same day an interview with Trump was published in The New York Times in which Trump took pride in having coined the term “fake news.”
Despite his criticism of news organizations,Trump said in the interview that a free press is a “very, very important and beautiful thing.”
The Post said its 60-second spot is scheduled to air in the fourth quarter of the game, before the two-minute warning.
It was quickly produced, as the Post bought the slot last week, according to the paper.
This is is the first time the Washington Post will air a commercial during the Super Bowl.
The New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams will face off in Super Bowl LIII on Sunday.