Friday, September 14, 2007

The Moment of Truth For The New York Times

If the NYT is serious about proving that it has no bias, now would be a good time to make this point. On the day Gen. Petraeus was beginning testimony, they published the now famous despicable ad, from MoveOn.Org. And they are taking some heat for it.

But that's not the half of it. Read this from the article:

An ad criticizing the top U.S. general in Iraq raised charges on Thursday that The New York Times slashed its advertising rates for political reasons -- an accusation denied by the paper.


By how much, you ask? Let's read on:

Moveon.org confirmed it paid $65,000 for the full page ad headlined "General Petraeus or General Betray Us."


On the surface that seems fair, right? It would, except the market rate for the page ad was a bit higher:

The New York Post ran a story on Thursday asking why the basic rate of $181,692 for such an ad was discounted.


That ad was ran at a saving of $116,692. That's a little over one-third of the usual cost.

So how can they prove they are not biased? Read here.

It's now up to the NYT. The ball is in their court. Time to prove the paranoid right wingnuts wrong. Time to offer equal access for those with the other viewpoint, for the same deal. The moment of truth is here, we are all waiting.

6 comments:

Shah Alexander said...

I have written a related post. The media, lawyers, and multinational NGOs are also to be blamed for hardships in Iraq.

Media and Jurists’ Humiliation to the Iraq War and the War on Terror

LASunsett said...

Thanks Shah. I left you a comment over on your blog.

Anyone reading this, ought to peruse Shah's blog, Global Discourse. It's on my blogroll. I don't get over there enough, I need to get there more often. He does a great job of communicating opinions on international politics, from a Japanese viewpoint.

L'Amerloque said...

Hi LASunsett!


/*/ …/… It's now up to the NYT. The ball is in their court. Time to prove the paranoid right wingnuts wrong. Time to offer equal access for those with the other viewpoint, for the same deal. The moment of truth is here, we are all waiting. …/… /*/


With all due respect, this is just a tempest in a teapot, in Amerloque's view. "One pays one's money and one takes one's choice", as the old saying goes. (grin)


Instead of focusing on this, one should probably take a hard look at just how many deep discounts have been offered over the years –over decades and decades - to the pro-Zionist NYT's pet causes: Israel, the Anti-Defamation League, and the American Jewish Committee.


Of course, mum's the word when it comes to getting genuine information on that, alas. (sigh)


Best,
L'Amerloque

LASunsett said...

Hi Amerloque,

//Instead of focusing on this, one should probably take a hard look at just how many deep discounts have been offered over the years –over decades and decades - to the pro-Zionist NYT's pet causes: Israel, the Anti-Defamation League, and the American Jewish Committee.//

Can you elaborate a little further on this? Are you saying that the NYT gave deep discounts to Zionist organizations for advertising?

If so, I have trouble understanding what this has to do with the American political process. As it has always been conveyed to me throughout my many years, media outlets are supposed to offer equal time, when it comes to advertising, should the group with the opposing view ask for it. It would only stand to reason that the same should apply to rates.

As far as your claim about the "pro-Zionist" forces that received "deep discounts", I would have to know more of what you are speaking before I could form some kind of response to it.

L'Amerloque said...

Hello LASunsett !



/*/… //Instead of focusing on this, one should probably take a hard look at just how many deep discounts have been offered over the years –over decades and decades - to the pro-Zionist NYT's pet causes: Israel, the Anti-Defamation League, and the American Jewish Committee.//


Can you elaborate a little further on this? Are you saying that the NYT gave deep discounts to Zionist organizations for advertising? /*/


Nope. (sigh) Amerloque is saying that probably a "hard look" should be taken, i.e., that the question should be investigated. In the past years, since the NYT takeover, there have been so many such ads in the International Herald Tribune from the ADL and the AJC that one is certainly entitled to wonder about what is going on, and if there are not some kinds of discounts being applied to further what might be considered to be a "hidden agenda".


What should be public knowledge is not just this Petraeus/betrayal ad affair, but also complete info about all discounts: just which discounts, how much, and to whose benefit, whether it is the SPCA or the 1997 Podunk Annual Garlic Bash or the ADL or whatever !



Amerloque has had quite a few comments over the years about this issue (ADL / AJC) from French and German people, none of whom are/were overtly antisemitic or anti-Israeli. They were more interested in just how the US press depended on ads for economic viability (quite different from the printed press in France, which counts on subscriptions for a very, very hefty part of its income) and were wondering just how these relatively poor benevolent organizations could pay the somewhat astronomical ad rates (from a benevolent organization's point of view, that is, and not, say, Coca Cola's or GM's) demanded by the NYT.


/*/ …/… If so, I have trouble understanding what this has to do with the American political process. As it has always been conveyed to me throughout my many years, media outlets are supposed to offer equal time, when it comes to advertising, should the group with the opposing view ask for it. It would only stand to reason that the same should apply to rates. …/… /*/


Well, yes and no. (grin) There are all kinds of ads: ads in "black and white" vs ads in "color" come immediately to mind. (grin) So does running the same ad for, say, several times in succession.


Insofar as equal time is concerned, there is a difference between "reporting the news" in a balanced fashion (what all of us devoutly wish for ! ) and "selling advertising space to all and sundry". Weren't there some cases of major media (TV networks) simply refusing to run ads against the US intervention in Iraq, at any price ? Amerloque seems to recall some brouhaha about that …


Certainly the same ad rates should be applied across the board by the media outlets, no matter the political viewpoint. Otherwise free speech is definitely impinged upon.


What can be found in a recent article about this issue in the IHT is instructive:


// … // … Giuliani also suggested that MoveOn received a discount from The New York Times. The organization did not; they received the rate of $64,575 (€46,466) the newspaper charges for a special advocacy, full-page, black and white, standby ad. …/… //


Article: http://tinyurl.com/2x7qz9


So, like Amerloque, perhaps LASunsett might now be asking himself "What is the definition of "special advocacy" ? As opposed to what … "general advocacy" ? (grin) What is a "standby ad", anyway ? Does that mean a "hot issue", the copy for which is ready to go (physical) ? Or perhaps an "unexpected issue popping up out of the blue" (metaphysical) ? Or something else, like being published only once, or in a regional edition, or something like that ?


Amerloque has no answers, just the same (?) questions as LASunsett ! grin)


What appears to be clear, though, is that the NYT has what might be termed a "going rate" for ads, and discounts according to its own criteria. It sounds a lot like the "list price" or "manufacturer's suggested retail price" or "sticker price": a somewhat imaginary figure that can be bent (usually downwards) to fit the occasion. One might imagine that most (if not "all") media organizations, including Fox News, have some kind of scale, just like the NYT … which is why Amerloque felt all this was a tempest in a teapot, way back when.


/*/ …/… As far as your claim about the "pro-Zionist" forces that received "deep discounts", I would have to know more of what you are speaking before I could form some kind of response to it. …/… /*./


As stated above, Amerloque is "claiming" no such thing: he is stating that a "hard look" should probably be taken. He apologizes for being unclear !


Best,
L'Amerloque


PS: Earlier today Amerloque saw the Colts outlast the Titans. Great game. (grin)

LASunsett said...

Hi Amerloque,

//He apologizes for being unclear !//

Certainly, no apology is in order. This medium of communication can be tricky sometimes, when the writers and readers are on different wavelengths (which happens, among the best of us, sometimes).

Perhaps my original point was unclear, and therefore, I should clarify it.

It's not the content, although I found it to be in poor taste to attack the credibility of a general without hearing what he had to say, first. Like you, I think that as a private business, they have the right to accept ad money from whoever they want, for whatever purpose. I just wanted to point out that the ad was discounted and that someone with the opposing viewpoint wanted the same rate.

//What should be public knowledge is not just this Petraeus/betrayal ad affair, but also complete info about all discounts: just which discounts, how much, and to whose benefit, whether it is the SPCA or the 1997 Podunk Annual Garlic Bash or the ADL or whatever !//

I agree. What this could imply goes deeper than just perceived bias. If this is true, it could mean that the NYT is guilty of discriminatory business practices. If I sell Greg an apple for a quarter, because I agree with him often and charge SF a dollar, because I don't agree with him as much as I do Greg, then that is what this could/would amount to.

//PS: Earlier today Amerloque saw the Colts outlast the Titans. Great game. (grin)//

Outstanding game, glad you got to see some of it. Many of my acquaintances were overly confident that the Colts would beat the Titans handily, after the way they handled the Saints. I knew better.

In my many years of watching football (as well as other sports), I have learned that division rivalries are always tougher, because of the familiarity each team has with the other. This was such a case.

It was a good game and I was relieved that it went our way. Next time, we may not be so lucky. Next up is the Houston Texans (another div. rival), which looks to be the most improved team from last year. They, too, are 2-0. It's in Houston, so no home crowd for the Colts.