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NY Times admits "mistake" with anti-Petraus ad
Posted by: McQ on Sunday, September 23, 2007

Well, well, well:
The old gray lady has some explaining to do.

Officials at the New York Times have admitted a liberal activist group was permitted to pay half the rate it should have for a provocative ad condemning U.S. Iraq commander Gen. David Petraeus.

The MoveOn ad, which cast Petraeus as "General Betray Us" and attacked his truthfulness, ran on the same day the commander made a highly anticipated appearance before Congress.

But since the liberal group paid the standby rate of $64,575 for the full-page ad, it should not have been guaranteed to run on Sept. 10, the day Petraeus warned Congress against a rapid withdrawal of troops from Iraq, Times personnel said.

"We made a mistake," Catherine Mathis, vice president of corporate communications for The Times, told the newspaper's public editor.
"Mistake?"

How long have you been doing this Ms. Mathis?

Everyone over the age of 7 knows the difference between a "mistake" and a deliberate act. And when one characterizes a deliberate act as a "mistake" another word enters the discussion.

"Lie."

Per Mathis:
Mathis said an advertising representative left the liberal group with the understanding that the ad would run that Monday even though they had been charged the standby rate.

The group should have paid $142,083 to ensure placement that day.
Per MoveOn:
Eli Pariser, the executive director of MoveOn, told The Times there was no discussion of a standby rate when a member of the group called the paper on Friday, requesting the Monday ad.
Lie.

Says Clark Hoyt, the NY Times public editor:
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.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Raise your hand if you think Mr. HairyFishNuts is going to return and apologize.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Wow. What a shocking, stunning revelation. The NYT has a left leaning bias! And that was reflected in this company charging whatever they damn well feel like charging to sell what is their legitimate right to sell for whatever they damn well feel like charging. I am very surprised this NYT bias has never been brought up before. I just don’t know what to say. Is nothing sacred? Will the next thing we hear that Fox News is not actually "Fair and Balanced?" No! Say it’s not true!
 
Written By: mw
URL: http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/
this company charging whatever they damn well feel like charging to sell what is their legitimate right to sell for whatever they damn well feel like charging
I guess you missed the part where they broke their own policy.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
I guess you missed the part where they broke their own policy.
And I should care... why?
 
Written By: mw
URL: http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/
Eric Alterman will, of course, claim this is the outlier - and continue to preach to the choir that the media is right-biased.

At some point, the left will lose control of their narrative. BDS has sustained it thus far, and I only hope that they dont have total control over the government when it happens.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
And I should care... why?
I don’t think any cares if you care — just don’t misrepresent what the NYT did (like you did in your first reply).
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
If I made a mistake that cost my copmpany $65,000 and a lot of bad PR, I’d be on the unemployment line the next morning.

So.....here’s hoping whoever is responsible has a pair of comfy shoes because they should be waiting on line a long time...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Since we’re talking about fringe groups going too far -

When will the Republicans denounce the extremist group Values Voters? At the Presidential debate the group held for GOP candidates this week, event organizers invited the Church of God Choir, from Springfield, Ohio, to sing "God Bless America" — except the lyrics were rewritten. Instead of a song about "the land that I love," and "home sweet home," this version condemns the country, saying we’ve all turned against God, and that He won’t bless us.

Twisting and distorting the words of "God Bless America" is disgusting and an insult to all Americans. The GOP should be ashamed for supporting a fringe group like Values Voters.
 
Written By: Other Ed
URL: http://
Since we’re talking about fringe groups going too far
Actually, the post was about the New York Times. Unless you believe the Paper Of Record has become a fringe group, which admittedly is not that far-fetched any more, your comment is a thread hijack attempt.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
Why is Other Ed copying a paragraph from a TPM post word for word?

Is Other Ed incapable of expressing his outrage in his own words?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
just don’t misrepresent what the NYT did
I misrepresented nothing.

I said the NYT has a left bias, which they demonstrate on a regular basis. There is nothing new there, any more than there is anything new about FOX having a right bias, which they also demonstrate on a regular basis.

I said that NYT can sell their advertising for whatever they Damn well please. Thats also true. They are also allowed to violate their own policy if they feel it like to sell another page of advertising. Absolutely true. Slipping another piece of newsprint in to sell another page of advertising costs essentially nothing compared to what they got for the ad.

If I made a mistake that cost my company $65,000 and a lot of bad PR, I’d be on the unemployment line the next morning.
It also sold at least two more full page ads - (Giuliani and MoveOn follow-ups), and probably sold one heck of a lot of additional newspapers. Whoever sold that ad at that price probably got a bonus. If I was a stockholder, I’d recommend it. This will probably be the NYT’s best September advertising revenues ever.

You know - I can’t say this any better than McQ did in an earlier post title:
What is the toxic obsession with the New York Times?
At least, I think that is what he said.


 
Written By: mw
URL: http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/
They are also allowed to violate their own policy if they feel it like to sell another page of advertising.
No one said they weren’t allowed (assuming they followed all campaign finance laws).

However, saying they can sell an ad for whatever price they want is different than saying they can decide to break their own corporate policies.

I also notice that the original argument against McQ that he didn’t understand how newspapers price ads has now morphed into McQ is obsessed by posting a followup thread proving he was right.

I also notice that for someone who claims he doesn’t care about the NYT, you sure are commenting a lot about it.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
They are also allowed to violate their own policy if they feel it like to sell another page of advertising.
Of course they are, and we’re "allowed" to call them on it when they initially misrepresent the sale.




 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I said the NYT has a left bias, which they demonstrate on a regular basis. There is nothing new there
Oh, please.

Are you going to seriously argue that most of the Left denies regular left-leaning bias from the NYT? You may see the bias, but that would put you in the minority of the Left.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
the problem is that the paper is SUPPOSED to be unbiased. i dont care if they are biased, just dont try to claim your not or we call you on it
 
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
The kind of denials that we’re seeing here, strikes me as being of the kind with that of Dan rather and CBS, as regards the falsified documents that CBS tried to steal the election for the Democrats with. It strikes me is the same kind of dissembling that occurs when officials from Columbia university were pressed on the question of why they allow the Iranian president to come on their stage and spew his particular brand of hatred, and yet they won’t allow ROTC on campus. And so on.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Are you going to seriously argue ...
No, but I will argue that the percentage of the left that denies left-leaning bias from the NYT is precisely equal to the percentage of the right that denies right-leaning bias from Fox News. My own studies show that the percentage is the same to four decimal points.

BTW. The left thinks I am right-wing.
 
Written By: mw
URL: http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/
Since we’re talking about fringe groups going too far
The Times readership and influence is falling true but that’s still a bit harsh on them, no?
If I made a mistake that cost my company $65,000 and a lot of bad PR, I’d be on the unemployment line the next morning.
It also sold at least two more full page ads - (Giuliani and MoveOn follow-ups), and probably sold one heck of a lot of additional newspapers. Whoever sold that ad at that price probably got a bonus. If I was a stockholder, I’d recommend it. This will probably be the NYT’s best September advertising revenues ever.
Yeah, I’m pretty sure that the extra ads would’ve been purchased regardless given the nature of the content. I doubt seriously that anyone purchased extra copies of a newspaper simply for the ad. I’m glad you and your keen sense of business acumen don’t work for my organization.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
...but I will argue that the percentage of the left that denies left-leaning bias from the NYT is precisely equal to the percentage of the right that denies right-leaning bias from Fox News.
OK, make that argument.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
...and show your work. Got data?
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
OK, make that argument.- b
...and show your work. Got data? - bb
Gosh. You guys got me! Tell me - What tipped you off?

Was it the fact that I claimed to have matched the percentage to FOUR DECIMAL PLACES?????

I should have known that you guys were just too sharp for me.

No I guess I have to admit that I have no more support for the FOUR DECIMAL POINT argument, than every single other argument in this thread expressing unsupported opinions about what "everybody knows" about bias at the New York Times.

Great job guys, you really put me in my place.
 
Written By: mw
URL: http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/
...but I will argue that the percentage of the left that denies left-leaning bias from the NYT is precisely equal to the percentage of the right that denies right-leaning bias from Fox News.
Oh please. Please argue that Fox’s right-bias overshadows every other news outlet.

I wanna see this one...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
"Oh please. Please argue that Fox’s right-bias overshadows every other news outlet." - scott
Yes, that is exactly what happens. When I take the analysis out to six decimal places, the Fox right-bias becomes dominant.
 
Written By: mw
URL: http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/
Yes, that is exactly what happens. When I take the analysis out to six decimal places, the Fox right-bias becomes dominant.
Only in the fevered minds of the left!
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Objection:
Makes assumptions not entered into evidence....

Leftists have brains?

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Was it the fact that I claimed to have matched the percentage to FOUR DECIMAL PLACES?????

I should have known that you guys were just too sharp for me.
You do know what show your work means do you? Give us a link to your data and methodology and then we will listen and discus your work.

But... when someone starts quoting 4 and 6 decimal places in a survey then you really are pushing the belief boundary. What an absurdly large data set you must have to get even that level of significance.

So I suggest you post your numbers or people will think you are a troll and just mock you for their sport. I know I will. :)
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
when someone starts quoting 4 and 6 decimal places in a survey then you really are pushing the belief boundary.
um... that was exactly the point.
 
Written By: mw
URL: http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/
um... that was exactly the point.
Based on data of what nature?
Your opinions of what shows bias in a given direction?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
OK maybe I am being slow today (Mondays -sheesh) but everyone does get that mw was not being serious with the 4 decimal places thing and that by saying 4 dp he was clearly showing this?
Is everyone just tweaking on that for fun?
I said the NYT has a left bias, which they demonstrate on a regular basis. There is nothing new there
Oh, please.

Are you going to seriously argue that most of the Left denies regular left-leaning bias from the NYT? You may see the bias, but that would put you in the minority of the Left.
Huh? He said that that the NYT has a leftwing bias, he (or she) did not make any argument here (seriously or otherwise) that the left denies bias in the NYT. Does mw have to defend the whole ’leftwing’? You are attributing arguments to him that he never made.
...but I will argue that the percentage of the left that denies left-leaning bias from the NYT is precisely equal to the percentage of the right that denies right-leaning bias from Fox News.
Oh please. Please argue that Fox’s right-bias overshadows every other news outlet.

I wanna see this one...
and again where did mw say that Fox’s right-bias overshadows every other news outlet? He specifically said it balanced the NYT. You quote him and then suggest he said something different!

What is going on here today????

 
Written By: Kav
URL: http://livingrealworld.blogspot.com
Based on data of what nature?
Your opinions of what shows bias in a given direction?
Ok. Against my better judgment, I am going to explain this. Any claims of 4 and 6 decimal points while comparing perception of bias is OBVIOUSLY absurd. I was making a point about the certitude of the absurd one-sided claims of bias demonstrated in this thread, by making a sarcastic equally absurd claim with equally absurd certitude and no more factual basis than any of the other certain claims of bias in this thread.

I’ll net this out and then I’m done with this thread.

The New York Times is perceived to have a left leaning bias. So what?
Fox News is perceived to have a right leaning bias. So what?

The answer, I am learning, is that it is really important to the people writing here to point one out and not the other.

Which tells me more about those writing here than it does about either the New York Times or Fox News.

Hey, its all good. If you want to believe in objective journalism untainted by personal political perspective, or UFO’s or illuminati conspiracy theories or the tooth fairy, or that the NYT has a left bias but FOX news is a paragon of objective truth, enjoy.

 
Written By: mw
URL: http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/
He said that that the NYT has a leftwing bias, he (or she) did not make any argument here (seriously or otherwise) that the left denies bias in the NYT.
He said "So What?"

The "So What" is that the Left denies the bias. Yet here is more evidence.

The "So What" is that when McQ first made the argument that the NYT cut MoveOn a break on the ad (in a way that is different than for any other group) he was criticized saying that he didn’t understand advertising. Yet it turns out McQ was right.
it is really important to the people writing here to point one out and not the other
As has been pointed out so often..."So what?"

Does not pointing out Fox bias to your satisfaction somehow change what the NYT just did?

If you don’t care what the NYT did (which you claim), then why are you trying so hard to convince everyone else not to care?

If you don’t care, then ignore the post.

How lame is it to come into someone else’s blog and leave a comment saying you don’t care about the post?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
No JWG, "so what" means so what.

It does not mean that the Left denies the bias. So what means that it does not matter that the left denies the bias.

His "so what" is a tacit admission that he thinks that the NYT has a bias but in this instance does not care.

 
Written By: Kav
URL: http://livingrealworld.blogspot.com
His "so what" is a tacit admission that he thinks that the NYT has a bias but in this instance does not care
Yeah, I get it. I didn’t define his "so what" as anything other then him not caring.

I gave an explanation as to why some people *DO* care: Because so many people deny the bias exists.
His "so what" is a tacit admission that he thinks that the NYT has a bias but in this instance does not care.
I’ll repeat my last question — how lame is it to insert yourself into a thread to merely claim you don’t care about the topic?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
"but everyone does get that mw was not being serious with the 4 decimal places thing and that by saying 4 dp he was clearly showing this"

Rats! No, I didn’t get it, and the idea was such fun to play with, too. Lest you think the idea ludicrously impossible, though, I must tell you that I once worked with a restaurant manager who did weekly/monthly inventories to three decimal places. That memory still makes me smile and chuckle.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Kav, Thanks, my confidence in the Q&O readership is restored.

JWG, It was fun.
 
Written By: mw
URL: http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/
His "so what" is a tacit admission that he thinks that the NYT has a bias but in this instance does not care.
’In this instance’ - and in what other instances might I need to care that the NYT has a bias.
In what other ways might I have to be careful of their bias?
Headlines? Story selection for articles? Op-ed?

Confirming a suspected bias isn’t necessarily just a ’so what’ moment. Either for Fox or the NYT.
If it was mw’s blog we were talking about it would be a ’so what’ moment.

And if you don’t think the NYT is playing damage control right now with this admission, think again. It’s not just ’so what’ to them that they confirmed their bias.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
In this study of media bias, Fox News’ Special Report with Brit Hume rates 39.7 while New York Times
rates 73.7. A score of 50.0 would be dead center, so NYT is essentially 2 times farther left than Fox is right. But then, who reads NYTs these days?

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
"Fox News’ Special Report with Brit Hume rates 39.7..."

Only one decimal point? Pretty shoddy.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Only one decimal point? Pretty shoddy.
Indeed.

But at least we have definitively established that the New York Times is 2.3009 times more biased than Britt Hume.

That should be an enormous comfort to all of us.
 
Written By: mw
URL: http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/
looker,

apologies but I do not understand your recent comment.

To clarify:

my point was that mw’s "so what" was an indication that he knew the NYT was biased but does not care in this instance. Without delving through the history I surmise that is because he does not care about this story (one can debate the merits of commenting on a thread one does not care about with JWG).

I commented in response to this from JWG:
He said "So What?"

The "So What" is that the Left denies the bias. Yet here is more evidence.
and misunderstood what he was getting at (sorry JWG) thinking he was suggesting mw was saying that the left does not deny the bias rather than not caring about the bias. This was read in the context of the earlier comment where he said:
Are you going to seriously argue that most of the Left denies regular left-leaning bias from the NYT?
which bugged me because no where had mw said that. I understand now that JWG was illustrating the supposed importance of this issue with regard to demonstrating the bias in the face of its denial from the Left.

At no time have I addressed the actual bias of the NYT or said that one should not care. I don’t know whether the NYT is biased -I don’t read it and never have as far as I am aware. I can only take your word for it. My view is that all media is biased; some go left, some go right and all go for dumb sensationalism.

 
Written By: Kav
URL: http://livingrealworld.blogspot.com
I don’t know whether the NYT is biased
There’s the point, right? You still don’t know. You could read something from them and still perhaps think you were getting information from a less biased source? Now? Still?

Fox, yeah, I don’t kid myself about what I’m getting when I read Fox, which is why if the story matters to me I hunt up two or three other sources to see if there are differences in perception, emphasis and reporting, which sometimes happens even when they’ve all gathered the info from the same source/by-line.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
you know if i had the net programming knowhow and all the stories for online news articles had rss, i would love to see a site that has articles from all teh major sources right next to one another in one place. Would be great for getting all different sides.
 
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
There’s the point, right? You still don’t know. You could read something from them and still perhaps think you were getting information from a less biased source? Now? Still?
looker, did you read the bit where I said:
-I don’t read it and never have as far as I am aware. I can only take your word for it.
From the context I thought it would have been clear that I was talking from first hand experience. But you go ahead and look for liberal narratives if you like.
 
Written By: kav
URL: http://livingrealworld.blogspot.com
looker, did you read the bit where I said...
Kav, nope, I didn’t miss that.
Did you miss the detail of this post? and, while not required reading, previous posts on this subject, or the news pertaining to the original ad, and the antics in Congress?

I’m not looking for liberal narratives and it’s not ’my’ word you have to take for this.
It’s accumulating evidence, now presented by the NYT itself.
You can still deem them to be an un-biased source if you like (how gracious of me! snark)
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
The latter half of this conversation, would seem to describe something that I have observed in previous such conversations;

The rest of the world is so used to the idea of nuttiness on the level of insanity coming from the left, it’s hard to tell if they’re kidding. Indeed, after a certain amount of time and exposure to such things, one gets the idea that they don’t possess a sense of humor to begin with.

what, after all, do we have to make such judgments on, other than what they write, what they say, and what they do?
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us

 
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