The New York Times ran a TV commercial during the Oscars tonight, its first since 2010. Its last ad was a celebration of the venerable newspaper’s coverage of all the exciting happenings in New York—a beat that, after 150 years, the Times had really gotten the hang of. Tonight’s spot was noticeably dourer, but no less reflective of its time: “The Truth Is Hard” offers a stark, black-and-white text spelling out phrases like “The truth is our nation is more divided than ever,” “The truth is alternative facts are lies,” “The truth is a woman should dress like a woman,” and so on, as a chorus of voices reads them aloud, eventually turning into a yammering chorus evoking the ongoing social media argument in our head. Think Van Halen’s video for “Right Now,” only a little more unsettling.
Of course, these days The Times has good reason to be taking out ads proclaiming that it tells the truth, as crazy as that sounds. That reason already tweeted about it earlier this morning.
Enjoy what is quite possibly the final ad you will ever see for The New York Times—or a newspaper, or words.