Emory Wheel agrees to run animal-rights ad

After an animal-rights group protested the Emory Wheel’s decision not to run an ad criticizing university researchers, the student newspaper has agreed to run a toned-down version of the ad, a member of the group says. The decision deflated the latest controversy involving Emory and In Defense of Animals. The Wheel ran two of the group’s 10 ads, on Sept. 1 and Sept. 5, but Editor in Chief Reid Epstein decided not to run the rest when school officials flexed muscles.

“People in the administration had mentioned to me that the Wheel exists at the invitation of the university. I think that was just to scare us and make sure we were careful, which I think we are,” Epstein says.

Careful, to Epstein, meant having Emory call in media lawyer Peter Canfield to review the ads, not a bad idea considering what they said. One claimed an Emory researcher received $100,000 to “cut open the dogs,” put a device in them and “let them sit in a cage for 60 weeks with the device in their back exerting compression on the disc.”

The group says the claims are documented, but Epstein said Monday he didn’t feel comfortable running them. “As long as the newspaper’s not in danger from a legal stance, we’ll go ahead and run the ads as we see fit,” he said.

On Tuesday, Barnes said she agreed to delete inflammatory passages, including those about the dog experiments, after Epstein called her and agreed to allow the toned-down ad to run in Friday’s Wheel.. CL couldn’t reach Epstein Tuesday for comment.

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