We may now know the reason that Washington Post Super Bowl Ad was so terrible: It was a rush job.
Page Six exclusively reports that Jeff Bezos, who owns The Washington Post, had originally spent $15 million to $20 million on an ad promoting his spaceflight company, Blue Origin, but pulled the ad at the last minute because some of the footage was shot by his mistress.
“Instead, the Amazon owner had a last-minute commercial created for his Washington Post, with some all-star narration by Tom Hanks,” Page Six reported. “TV insiders said Bezos nixed the space exploration ad when his affair with Lauren Sanchez went public. Sanchez, a former TV anchor and helicopter pilot, has been shooting aerial footage of Blue Origin rocket launches and landings for Bezos.”
One anonymous source told Page Six that Bezos “spent so much money on [the Blue Origin ad] because he wanted to be close to her. But the speculation is that he pulled the ad because it would be embarrassing because Lauren worked on the ads.”
The Post purchased the available ad space a week before the Super Bowl, and produced the 60-second ad within that time. It’s speculated to have cost between $5 million and $10 million.
The ad was meant to extol the virtues of journalism, but the Post’s commercial ended up falling flat on its face with everyone except virtue-signaling Twitter media personalities who believe their lives are in danger in America because President Donald Trump insults the media’s obvious left-wing bias.
Post employees tweeted responses to the ad by suggesting the paper spend those millions of dollars on hiring new journalists or providing better benefits to current employees.
Reporter Dan Zak tweeted for the Post to “unfreeze our pensions, pay an equal wage, and strengthen maternity benefits.” Reporter Sarah Kaplan suggested the “next $10 million could go toward better health benefits, parental leave, equal pay, and more jobs for reporters?” Reporter Wesley Lowery tweeted: “Can’t lie and pretend it’s not exciting to watch us have a commercial tonight. Also really wish we provided better paid parental leave.”
The ad itself, about the important work of journalists gathering facts, left out some important facts.
The ad included a short list of journalists who died while reporting, but included Jamal Khashoggi, who wrote some opinion columns for the Post and did not die in the course of doing this job. Since his death by the Saudi government last year, we have learned that he was less a “journalist” and more of a propagandist for Qatar, who translated and shaped his columns. This was reported by none other than The Washington Post, who claimed to have not known about Khashoggi’s Qatar ties when it published him and turned him into a martyr upon his death – likely because journalists from another outlet started asking questions and the Post wanted to paint the information in the most positive light possible.
Page Six didn’t receive a response from representatives for Bezos, Amazon, or Blue Origin. A Spokeswoman for the Post wouldn’t give Adweek a comment about the allegations in Page Six.