Old Gray Lady Decides She Needs New Underwear After All

With its stock prices falling to record lows, The New York Times decided to finally come clean on its super-discounts to liberal democratic groups.

The New York Times ad revenue declined a stunning 3.2% in August.
Their shares set new 52 week lows two days in a row in September.

With this in mind…
The Old Gray Lady today admitted finally that it gave the liberal democratic group MoveOn.org a discount ($64,575) on its disgusting “Petraeus-Traitor” ad.

The NY Times also admitted that it did not give the same price to conservative Freedom’s Watch but charged them full price ($142,083)- more than twice the amount that they charged the liberal democratic group!

The New York Times reported today:

President George W. Bush called the ad “disgusting.” The Senate, controlled by Democrats, voted overwhelmingly to condemn the ad.

Vice President Dick Cheney said the charges in the ad, “provided at subsidized rates in The New York Times” were “an outrage.” Thomas Davis III, a Republican congressman from Virginia, demanded a House investigation. The American Conservative Union filed a formal complaint with the Federal Election Commission against MoveOn.org and The New York Times Company. FreedomsWatch.org, a group recently formed to support the war, asked me to investigate because it said it wasn’t offered the same terms for a response ad that MoveOn.org got.

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.

The Old Gray Lady has some explaining to do.

The fact that The New York Times would just happen to make this “mistake” on the very day that the general in charge of Operation Iraqi Freedom is to testify in Congress about the significant gains in Iraq makes this admission even more troubling.

This is a very serious violation of trust by The New York Times.
Kudos to Bob Owens for catching this awful misdeed.

UPDATE: Roger Simon wonders how deep the intstitutional bias goes in the paper’s structure.

UPDATE 2: MTC corrects MoveOn in their attacks on Rudy.

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