The Washington Post is Spending Millions on a Super Bowl Ad. The Paper’s Union Chief is Pissed.


The Washington Post is set to debut a 60-second Super Bowl commercial during Sunday’s game — and Fredrick Kunkle, a staff writer at the paper and co-chair of its union, is blasting the top-shelf ad buy as an “infuriating expense.”

The ad — which is narrated by Tom Hanks and provides “a message underscoring the importance of newsgathering and the dangers journalists can face,” per the Post — could cost more than $10 million.

“The Post is now paying, say, $5M/30 seconds to tout journalistic freedom during one of the glitziest and – given the NFL’s knee-taking protests and concussions – more controversial sports events in our country,” Kunkle wrote on Twitter.

“While I too am extremely proud of the Post and its legacy, this seems like an especially infuriating expense for a company that has: a) tried to take away health care insurance from part-time employees b) moved everyone toward riskier forms of health insurance.”

He continued: “c) made it easier to lay people off d) cut their severance e) frozen their pensions and resisted the smallest enhancements to remaining retirement benefits until Sen. Bernie Sanders shamed it into doing so… f) refused to add a single day of paid parental leave to its measly four weeks and g) must know that other media companies, sensing trouble ahead, have been trimming staff.”

In an email to USA Today, Kunkle added, “those tweets make it clear that I for one think it’s extravagant and in poor taste.”

The Washington Post did not immediately respond to Mediaite’s request for comment.

[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin