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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Huge Screwup By New York Times: MoveOn Got Pricecut On Petraeus Ad

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- New York Times ombudsman Clark Hoyt reports the newspaper "gave critics ammunition" by charging $64,575 for the Petraeus/Betray Us ad, a fee that should have cost $142,083. And now the argument is going to swirl that the Times told MoveOn for its ad about Petraeus: Don't pay us.

Hoyt says NYT adversting officials have now admitted they seriously undercharged MoveOn after at first insisting the $64,575 price was correct. The ad has enraged conservatives and drew the ire of some Democrats (including this blog) who considered it a breach of good taste to use inflammatory language best reserved for traitors deserving firing squads or military prisons.

Hoyt said, "I'd have demanded changes to eliminate 'Betray Us,' a particularly low blow when aimed at a soldier."

He did a long take out in his column "The Public Editor" for Sunday's Times.

Bradley A. Blakeman,who heads an organization called Freedom Watch complained about the price MoveOn received. Freedom Watch plans to run an ad in the Times criticizing Iranian President Mahmous Ahmadinejad's visit to Colombia University. He wants the stand by rate that MoveOn received.

"I want to thank the ombudsman of the New York time sfor reaching the fair conclusion that MoveOn.ord received a discounted rate for their outrageous ad that appeared in the September 10th edition. It's pretty clear to me that owes the New York Times $75,508 for the incorrect fee and Freedom's Watch is calling on the New York times to charge for the discrepancy, otherwise it appears the New York Times made an illegal corporate contribution to the radical left wing group."

MoveOn, of course, is not radical. It doesn't want the U.S. government overthrown, it doesn't favor the suspension of civil liberties. It only wants the war to end, and favors a government run by progressive Democrats rather than a government run by Republicans.

Sadly, the Times error has played into the right's hands. It stumbled. The newspaper looks like another wartime casualty.


  1. MoveOn, of course, is not radical.

    Right, Bill. And I'm Karl Marx.

  2. Hi Tom/Bizzy/Karl --

    Wasn't it Marx who said, "you must endure 15, 20 or 50 years of civil and international wars . ." (Kerensky Russia and History's Turning Point).

    MoveOn doesn't seem to want 15, 20, or 50 years of war -- quite the opposite I would say. And as you know Tom, Marx never lead a revolution, neither Karl nor Groucho. I think the guy who was a radical was named Lenin. And neither Lenin nor Marx belonged to MoveOn.

  3. Way to be on top of this story, Bill. Better late than never.

    The fact that you don't think that is radical by your very high-bar definition - calling for government overthrow and suspension of civil liberties - but conservative groups are zealots ( ) - don't believe in free speech, open discourse, and advocacy is curious.

  4. Hi Joe C. --

    MoveOn is not radical in the sense that the organizers of the Octover 1917 revolution in Russia were radical. You know that . . .

    I do think that MoveOn is zealous in pursuing its goal: A Democratic government in the United States.
    Sorry you don't like their goal, but that is not radical at all, no matter how much you whine and beef. In fact, MoveOn seems to be moving along fairly well -- one could say zealously -- toward reaching their goal, a national government where the Republicans are not in power.

  5. Tom & Joe,

    What makes MoveOn radical, in your view? Is it the organization’s objectives? Their tactics? Please cite examples, as I'm truly curious.

  6. Anonymous: You don't think calling a man who is currently serving his country in a time of war a "traitor" and that he is out to "Betray Us" isn't radical?

  7. Matt,
    So you didn’t read the ad? Petraeus wasn’t called a “traitor.” You can view it at

    Do you think MoveOn is a radical group, or is it just the ad that’s radical? And what did you think of the Swiftboat ad campaign?

  8. fundraising letter referring to the Democrat Party: "Now it's our Party: we bought it, we own it, and we're going to take it back."

    This is just one example; and yes their ultra-leftist policy positions (benign euphemisms not withstanding) are part of their radicalism. What other organization creates a shadow party funded mainly by one guy and can intimidate an entire presidential primary field even though they all do his bidding. I think saying that they are radical is a kind understatement.

  9. Joe,
    Buying it and owning it sounds more like the American way to me!☺ I'm sorry puffery and money from democrats frightens you so, but radicalism?!

    The organization that ran the ad is, I believe, a PAC, and as such is almost assuredly not “funded mainly by one guy,” as you wrote. If you have evidence to the contrary, please post it, because I don’t always get it right.

  10. Now you're just being silly. If you don't think a megalomaniacal billionaire leftist buying a major political party and its presidential candidates as a Trojan Horse into the White House to overthrow the U.S. economy isn't radical, then nothing I say is going to convince you otherwise. It's pretty sad (and disturbing) really, but I'll bet you can believe, "BusHitler lied, people died - for oil."

  11. Joe,
    Don’t take this the wrong way, but you seem prone to making wild, unsubstantiated claims. Link us up if you’ve got something.

    I do share your concern for megalomaniacal billionaires buying up major parties, but I thought Rupert Murdoch was on your side! ☺

  12. Hi Joe and Anon --

    It is probably a good idea to debate the plans of megalomaniacal billionaires. Are Soros and Murdoch they only two who need to be eyed?