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Conservative Blogs Promote Wrong Facts About MoveOn.org Ad Rates

A number of conservative blogs once again put their reputation on the line when they falsely claimed that THE NEW YORK TIMES gave a special ad discount to MoveOn.org for their anti-Patraeus ad. The real truth is that any advocacy group of any type, including political ads, only pay a lower $65,000 rate for a full page, while purely commercial ads may pay as much as $180,000 when they ask for special favors such as placement in the newspaper.

Rudolph Giuliani is purchasing a full page political ad in THE NEW YORK TIMES that will appear next week. He will only pay the normal $65,000 rate for an advocacy or political ad.

While certainly the editorial page of THE NEW YORK TIMES features a number of liberal leaning writers, this is hardly uncommon for any newspaper published in a large city with a wide Democratic voter registration edge. Many of the writers merely represent the demographics of the city at large. There is nothing unusual about this.

One of the best myths that some conservatives like to promote is the wrong claim of a liberal domination of the media. However talk radio and other mediums are heavily dominated by conservative leaning programs. Conservative claims of a media bias fall far short of the actual facts when it is examined where the publication originates or what type of media is examined.

Last year, some conservative blogs hoped to undermine the credibility of AP reporting with claims that some violent attacks on some Sunnis at a Mosque did not really take place. However some like Michelle Malkin were eventually forced to run retractions and an apology to AP as facts emerged to disprove the claims of these conservative blogs. Certainly early news reporting may include some reporting mistakes, and AP quickly moved to correct one error made in reporting a key witness who was named. But such a minor reporting error was little reason for some conservative blogs to fashion elaborate conspiracy theories.

Some conservatives must learn to evolve their logic far beyond some primitive stone-age level of man, myth and magic and step up to the modern world of how mass communications really functions. Absurd beliefs seeing some grand liberal conspiracy everywhere are nonsense in a politically pluralistic society like the U.S. where plenty of both conservatives as well as liberals have jobs in the mass media, and no one has any real monopoly on reporting the news that we all consume. If one does not like one news report, then you can easily find another. You can even write your own blog, and become your reporter and editor as well. No one really controls all of the media.


Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Comments (13)

Mitch:

Well said. I'm glad I'm glad not to be the only person who sees the world in color and clarity.

pinch:

Hooson

Given today's admission by the NYT, will you admit that you are mistaken?

"..falsely claimed that THE NEW YORK TIMES gave a special ad discount to MoveOn.org for their anti-Patraeus ad. "

No. The NYT admits they gave a special ad discount. They also admit that it was wrong to do so.

Mitchell:

?Retraction now that the ombudsman at NYT has proven you wrong???

89:

And the New York Times now says that the discount given to MoveOn was a mistake - that they should have paid the full price for "special favors such as placement in the newspaper" - and on a specific day at that.
Likewise, those events in Iraq weren't as the AP had reported them - the only surprise was that the man given as the source actually existed, but with a different name.

Lee Ward:

Speaking for myself, it appears to me from the NY Times Opinion piece written by Clark Hoyt that MoveOn received the correct rate - the same rate they'd paid before -- and the same rate Giuliani paid.

Since their previous full-page ad ran as a stand-by, they called up this time and got the same deal.

We paid this rate before, so we recognized it," [MoveOn's Eli Pariser] said.

And the "mistake" made by the New York Times wasn't that MoveOn got the wrong rate -- but that they weren't informed that the rate they received was for a standby ad.

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."

Yes, it appears that they were not informed that the ad rate was for a stand-by ad, but they received received their usual and correct rate for their usual ad buy.

MoveOn got the correct rate but was misinformed about what they were buying.

Lee Ward:

Pinch: "No. The NYT admits they gave a special ad discount. They also admit that it was wrong to do so."

False. They admit they didn't fully inform MoveOn as to what they were buying.

Mitchell: "Retraction now that the ombudsman at NYT has proven you wrong???"

False. Feel free to make a case for that claim, Mitchell -- but my reading of the opinion piece by Hoyt does not prove Mr. Hooson wrong.

89: "And the New York Times now says that the discount given to MoveOn was a mistake - that they should have paid the full price."

Show me the words "should have paid the full price" in the Hoyt piece. You said those are the words of the New York Times - but I can't find them.

Here's how Hoyt spun this:

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.

Yes, a mistake as made -- MoveOn wasn't informed they were buying a standby ad -- but the New York Times isn't saying the rate they paid was inappropriate, only that a mistake was made in not telling MoveOn the rate for a standby ad.

Hoyt, a careful craftsperson of words, knew he was spinning this in a away that conservative bloggers like Kim could in turn rile up their readers.

It's just another example of what Paul Hooson described in the post above -- the dishonest approach taking by conservative bloggers to spin this.

Republican John McCain claimed that MoveOn should be "thrown out of the country" -- and the witch hunt continues. Free speech is abhorred by the right.

Nice pitchforks guys, but try the truth next time.

Lee Ward:

I've already debunked these points, but since you insist on repeating the BS I'm happy to do it again.

and the paper now says that the advertiser got a price break it was not entitled to

Hoyt's opinion, not actually supported by the quotes provided.

Meaning they should have paid full price for an ad to appear on a specific day.

Your spin - not supported by any of the quotes provided. They didnt' receive guaratneed placement, they bought a standby ad.

The Times did deny it for week when they realized they could no longer hide the fact they were working to give left wing advocacy groups like MoveOn special treatment.

Your spin, not supported by any of the quotes provided -- and contradicted by this quote...

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

..which states the error was that the Times "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" -- not that they charged the incorrect rate.

The quote does not admit that they received special treatment - that's just more spin -- the quote admits they the advertising rep made a mistake in not explaining to MoveOn that they were buyhing a stand by ad, and giving them the impression it was a guaranteed ad instead.

You're digging yourself and your pals a very nice hole with that pitchfork, Jumpinjoe -- lots of dust, but no susbtance.

Lee Ward:

The error was not that MoveOn paid the wrong ad rate, but that they weren't informed that they were buying a standby ad. Mr. Hooson's post was correct that right winger are mis-charecterizing the issue and the facts. You've helped prove his point, jumpinjoe.

For an entire week the NYTs denied MoveOn got a special rate.

That has not changed. MpveOn did not receive the incorrect ad rate - but the NYT admits that MoveOn was not prpoperly informed that they were buying a standby placement.


While some new facts have emerged today in this story it is important to note that the head editor of the NEW YORK TIMES takes the position that MoveOn.org should have been charged a higher rate for the ad in question due to a request for specific location of the ad in the paper as well as concerns that the ad might have violated ad policy for content. However, the editor in charge of advertising does continue to stand by his position both on the rate charged to MoveOn.org as well as still feels that the political content was acceptable.

It is also important to note that some conservative blogs ran with misinformation that a conservative leaning political ad was offered a higher rate. This was not discrimination. There was a specific request made for placement in the paper.

At one time a full page ad in many magazines sold for around $50,000 within the magazine, and $100,000 on the back cover. As long as MoveOn.org wasn't given the back page at a reduced rate then the advertising editor is probably correct in the rate charged a noncommercial issue type ad. And the choice of whether to accept the ad for content was also his own delegated call as well. The same editor also approves numerous other ads each day and uses the same rules with each ad.

Does this minor riff between two editors of the NEW YORK TIMES really substantially change the story?

Lee Ward:

That isn't supported by the quote that's included in the article, marc - in fact, that's just Hoyt's opinion -- not supported by the facts.

Hoyt twists words so that it isn't obvious -- saying there was a mistake made and implying that they should have been charged more.

In fact, the mistake was that they weren't told they were buying a stand by ad. THAT's what the Times admmitted to, and the rest is just spin.

Meanwhile the right wing blogosphere ignores the facts again, and is off to the races spreading misinformation.... just as Mr. Hooson said earlier in his post sevreal days ago.

Gee, I'm suprised....

Lee Ward:
"So Lee, out of curiosity, why do you think it took the NYTs so long to finally figure out how MoveOn got the discount?"

lol - that's one of those "do you still beat your wife?" questions...

I maintain that, based on what I've read so far, MoveOn.org paid their usual "standby" rate, got their usual "standby" ad, but were misnformed by the ad rep.

It appears that they've decided to pay the higher full rate price anyway.

Bully for them, my guess is they've raised a ton of money resulting from this controversy -- ust like the Ditzy Chix boycott -- so rock on Jumpinjoe... rock on.

Lee Ward:

JJ- you've got the facts wrong, as usual -- the New York Times, from what I've read, has not asked MoveOn to pay a higher rate - MoveOn did so voluntarily out their own largesse.

But facts don't matter to you and your ilk. Just as DJ Drummond the Drooler showed with his droolings here a few days ago, you guys completely ignore the facts and create a fantasy world where liberals are hated and villified by the public.

It's all in your head, JumpinJoe, -- the Democrats didn't lose one bit of "sway" in all of this. The polls will show Hillary continuing to grow her lead over every Republican candidate -- but even there your fantasies will rule your roost, as the tin-foil hatted wingnuts all convince themsleves that polls lie...

Dream on, and switch on Fox News and they'll lie to you as well. It's laughable to the rest of us.

89:

Thanks Paul H. for at posting my comment. I'll not go into the politics or the content of the ad, but about what the NYT really is owning up to here.

Lee says that the head editor says the rate was wrong but that the editor in charge of advertising does not. Where are you getting this information? The Public Editor says "the paper now says that the advertiser got a price break it was not entitled to", after he spoke with a spokeswoman who is authorized to speak for the paper. Are you, Lee, accusing the public editor of lying about what the paper says?

"This was not discrimination." - Lee

Since the ad was time-sensitive it should have cost the full price, and since other time-sensitive ads (from a "Conservative" client) would cost the full price, that results in discrimination - if it's not rectified.

I can actually see this discount happening as an honest mistake - the people who review the ads probably don't look so much on the business deal, but rather at the content. The long time of stonewalling, however, does not sit so well with me.

Catherine Mathis (I first made the mistake of thinking she was the advertising editor you referred to) doesn't say that it was *right* that MoveOn.org only paid stand-by. What she said is that MoveOn were left with the impression that their ad would appear on Monday at the same prize as their earlier standby ads. At that point they've already made the deal - perhaps even paid, and the NYT have to honor the deal(*) - at least if they want to keep a good relationship with their client. So the NYT let the ad appear at a lower rate, against their policies, because of a mistake. It does not follow that MoveOn unwittingly bought a standby ad - it follows that they bought a time-sensitive at for the price of a standby ad without realising it. Get it?

The way to rectify that could be to give a time sensitive ad to the "other side" at the stand-by rate, but then you have a problem with who really is the "other side". In this context, MoveOn sending money that they NYT says the "should" have paid can sort of get the NYT out of a bind, but I guess the client relationship took a hit. (They're not calling MoveOn to collect, as MoveOn has no obligation to pay, but they put out through the media that MoveOn paid too little by mistake.)

Or perhaps they should do as Paul H. suggests, and take less money for all non-commercial ads, even the time sensitive ones.

*: Disclaimer: There may be contracts in place that can get the NYT out of it. For example, they could perhaps have tossed it or required redisign based on the content.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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