Obama Apologizes for Anti-Islam Vid in Taxpayer-Funded Ad Overseas

September 20, 2012

Update (6:54 p.m.): State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland confirmed Thursday that the administration is paying for the ads to air. Politico reports:

"As you know, after the video came out, there was concern in lots of bodies politic, including Pakistan, as to whether this represented the views of the U.S. Government.  So in order to ensure we reached the largest number of Pakistanis – some 90 million, as I understand it in this case with these spots – it was the judgment that this was the best way to do it," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters. [...]

"In the case of Pakistan, it is common and traditional to have to buy airtime on Pakistani TV for public service announcements.  So in that environment, it was their recommendation that we buy some airtime to make sure that the Pakistani people would heard the President’s messages and the Secretary’s messages, so we did purchase some time, is my understanding, on Pakistani TV stations, all of the stations," Nuland said.

Advertisements against an anti-Islam video on YouTube featuring President Obama and Sec. Hillary Clinton have aired this week in Pakistan, the Associated Press reports:

The television ads feature clips of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during press appearances in Washington in which they condemned the video. Their words were subtitled in Urdu.

A caption on the ad reads: "Paid Content."

The advertisements, which appeared Thursday, end with the seal of the American Embassy in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital.

The embassy declined to comment on the ads to the AP.

The U.S. Embassy Pakistan posted a video message Tuesday matching that description on the embassy's Facebook page; the video can be seen above.

Published under: Pakistan , Protests , Video