The Atlantic Publishes, Unpublishes “Sponsored Content” From Church of Scientology

Advertorial happens, but it doesn’t always happen with the country’s most controversial church. Maybe that’s why journalists on Monday night took notice of a Scientology-sponsored article at The Atlantic all about how Scientology is great! (It’s not true that the text read as such: “David Miscavige is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.“)

More impressive: In the early hours, at least, all the comments on the story were also pro-Scientology, and everybody knows that Internet commenters live to poop on everything, no matter how good or bad it is.

In any case, the story—the advertisement meant to look like a story—was pulled from The Atlantic’s website late Monday night and replaced with this comment: “We have temporarily suspended this advertising campaign pending a review of our policies that govern sponsor content and subsequent comment threads.” Which isn’t embarrassing at all. In the meantime, if the Church of Scientology is wanting to give money to deserving journalists, I’d just like to note my feelings that Tom Cruise has endless charisma, John Travolta is the best actor of his generation, and Beck is a musical genius. Just sayin’. [Poynter]