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Posted by: Jon Henke on Friday, January 07, 2005

[this link via John Cole] Andrew Sullivan [01/07/05]
I respect those who defend the death penalty in necessity, even though I cannot morally acquiesce to it in any circumstances.
Andrew Sullivan [11/19/01]
As for the death penalty, this is one exception that, to my mind, makes sense. In a just war, when society itself is threatened by the lives of fascist mass-murderers, there is every justification for executing convicted prisoners of war.


Via a National Center for Public Policy email, I see Media Matters--a group dedicated to "correcting conservative misinformation"--is, itself, being corrected....
Office supply retailer Staples, Inc. is denying allegations made by a left-wing activist group that Staples is withdrawing advertising from news programs run by Sinclair Broadcasting as a result of the political content of the newscasts.

Staples Spokesman Paul Capelli told the National Center in a January 6 phone call that the organization Media Matters had "misrepresented" the facts about Staples' advertising policy regarding Sinclair. Capelli referred to Staples as a "victim" of this misrepresentation, saying Staples is "nonpolitical."
I'll be curious to know how Media Matters and Sinclair Action handle this.

Amy Ridenour--at the NCPP blog--suggests that this whole thing came about because Staples was trying to play both sides - and the Left for suckers....
This is my take on what happened here. I suspect Staples originally was too clever by half. It sent emails to lefties that said that its current ad on Sinclair news would end 1/10 -- apparently phrased to maximize the likelihood that the lefties would be happy with the email without Staples actually having to do what the leftie wanted.

Probably seemed like good customer relations at the time.

The plan blew up when Media Matters put out a press release declaring victory, and the right started asking questions.
From what I know about media PR, this sounds quite plausible.

UPDATE: This is how Media Matters will respond....

Somebody's going to eat it for this. I'm putting my money on a minor functionary at Staples, who is about to get nailed for trying to have it both their eventual chagrin. But, at this point, who knows?


Rick Sincere -- another Virginia blogger -- points out some spontaneous order in the middle of the Tsunami relief...

The most important quote in the interview: "I have a wallet-load of Sri Lankan rupees in my pocket and when I think I see a worthwhile cause,I just pay out the money. I dont ask for any receipts. I just say to them, Ill come back tomorrow, if I dont see any progress, you wont get any more money."

Therein lies the beauty of the free market: the ability to provide enormous incentives for valuable, productive behaviour....and to punish non-productive behaviour by the removal of those incentives. The State--welfare--whatever good it may be able to do in the short term, will ultimately be unable to coerce positive behaviour, because the State insists on always picking up the pieces; on never letting ultimate responsibility rest on the individual.

It would be very interesting--though, perhaps impossible--to have a controlled experiment in the results of State-driven Command-charity VS demand-driven private charity.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

As I've remarked prevously; There's apparently only one thing that Sullivan is consistant about.
Written By: Bithead
The response to my email that was received from Staples:

Thank you for sharing your feedback with us. Our media buying process with Sinclair Broadcasting stations has recently been misrepresented by an organization with no affiliation to Staples. Staples regularly drops and adds specific programs from our media buying schedule, as we evaluate and adjust how to best reach our customers. We do not let political agendas drive our media buying decisions.

Staples does not support any political party. We advertise with a variety of media outlets, but do not necessarily share the same views of these organizations or what they report. As we have done for a number of years, Staples will continue to advertise on Sinclair Broadcasting stations.

Again, thank you for taking the time to share your feedback.

Written By: RAZ
URL: http://
Very interesting. It really seems like some mid-level guy at Staples was trying to play both sides, and didn't tell the bosses. We'll see who comes up with evidence first.
Written By: Jon Henke

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