A "stunner" from the NYT’s on a Sunday:
FOR nearly two weeks, The New York Times has been defending a political advertisement that critics say was an unfair shot at the American commander in Iraq.
But I think the ad violated The Times’s own written standards, and the paper now says that the advertiser got a price break it was not entitled to.~~~
Did MoveOn.org get favored treatment from The Times? And was the ad outside the bounds of acceptable political discourse?
The answer to the first question is that MoveOn.org paid what is known in the newspaper industry as a standby rate of $64,575 that it should not have received under Times policies. The group should have paid $142,083. The Times had maintained for a week that the standby rate was appropriate, but a company spokeswoman told me late Thursday afternoon that an advertising sales representative made a mistake.
The answer to the second question is that the ad appears to fly in the face of an internal advertising acceptability manual that says, “We do not accept opinion advertisements that are attacks of a personal nature.” Steph Jespersen, the executive who approved the ad, said that, while it was “rough,” he regarded it as a comment on a public official’s management of his office and therefore acceptable speech for The Times to print.~~~
Catherine Mathis, vice president of corporate communications for The Times, said, “We made a mistake.” She said the advertising representative failed to make it clear that for that rate The Times could not guarantee the Monday placement but left MoveOn.org with the understanding that the ad would run then. She added, “That was contrary to our policies.”
Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher of The Times and chairman of its parent company, declined to name the salesperson or to say whether disciplinary action would be taken.
Jespersen, director of advertising acceptability, reviewed the ad and approved it. He said the question mark after the headline figured in his decision.
The Times bends over backward to accommodate advocacy ads, including ads from groups with which the newspaper disagrees editorially. Jespersen has rejected an ad from the National Right to Life Committee, not, he said, because of its message but because it pictured aborted fetuses. He also rejected an ad from MoveOn.org that contained a doctored photograph of Cheney. The photo was replaced, and the ad ran.
Sulzberger, who said he wasn’t aware of MoveOn.org’s latest ad until it appeared in the paper, said: “If we’re going to err, it’s better to err on the side of more political dialogue. … Perhaps we did err in this case. If we did, we erred with the intent of giving greater voice to people.”
Oh yeah, we see ads in the NYT’s all the time from conservative groups. Who does this guy think he’s kidding? While admitting that they made a mistake is one thing they must also admit their political bias played a big part in this story. This was most definitely not an admission of this fact instead its an admission of an accounting error by a employee who failed to tell MoveOn that they could not guarantee the day and placement of the ad at that rate.
This is a problem of bias inside the newspaper plain and simple. They think nothing about revealing state secrets which hurt our war on terrorism. They think nothing about putting an ad which disgraces a man who has served this country honorably almost all his life.
And then this editor admits to an accounting error and that the only thing they are upset about is that the ad didn’t hurt Bush, rather it had the opposite effect.
There should be a congressional inquiry into the practices of the NYT’s to see just how far back these illegal political contributions to the Democrat party have gone on. Won’t happen but it’s what is called for in this instance.
The New York Times is nothing but a irrelevant big city leftist cult rag, it is NOT a legitimate newspaper anymore.