Sunday, September 23, 2007

the grey lady's mulligan

In an amazing admission of incompetence, the New York Times has announced that they should not have given MoveOn.org's "Betray Us" ad the discounted rate that it had received as a stand-by ad, and that they shouldn't have run the ad in the first place because it violated their standards for print because, by their guidelines, they considered it a personal attack on General Be... er, Petraeus. Needless to say, we are supposed to understand that this sudden reversal has absolutely nothing with the relentless pressure from the right-wing nutcase echo chamber or the asinine congressional resolution condemning protected political speech that a couple of dozen worthless, despicable, so-called Democrats assisted to pass with their shameful votes.

In response, MoveOn.org has already paid the difference between the standard rate and the stand-by discount rate to the New York Times for an ad that ran over a week ago. Personally, I fail to understand why. It's not like the ad just appeared in the paper without being given approval by many different people in different functions and departments.



In short, the New York Times, America's newspaper of record, evidently does not have an advertising department that is capable of correctly billing for an ad that costs a substantial amount of money, does not have anybody examining the ads that are submitted to see if they are in accord with their in-house standards for publication, and simply takes whatever amount they are paid and publishes whatever copy they are given without any review or oversight. And, they have no qualms about coming forth and essentially announcing that they have so little business acumen that something of this magnitude just slips through the cracks. Plus, they don't have the integrity to shut up about it and stand by an already completed business agreement like anybody with a shred of honor would do, they feel they can unilaterally renegotiate the transaction and somehow not look like total scumbags. Worst of all, they don't have the respect for the Constitution and the freedom of the press to just tell those who have been whining about the ad that if they disagree, they are welcome to run a counter-ad if they choose. I have yet to hear of them denouncing Rudy Giuliani's ad in response to the MoveOn.org ad, and it certainly fell into the same category as MoveOn.org's ad and should be subject to the same standards. All future advertisers should take heed of this entire travesty and realize that a contract with the New York Times isn't worth the newsprint the cowardly rag is printed on.


Good news, stockholders! Your investment is being shepherded by these fine, upstanding folks. That should put your minds at ease!

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