Sunday, September 23, 2007

NYT Admits It Gave Special Price

In what is one of the clearest examples of the New York Times admitting a left wing bias, members of the newspaper's staff are quoted this morning by the paper's "public editor," or ombudsman, Clark Hoyt, as confessiing that they gave the far left, antiwar group a special price for a Sept. 10 full-page ad smearing Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, as "General Betray-Us."

The ad, which ran the morning before Petraeus was to testify to Congress on the status of the U.S. effort in the Iraq war, has been roundly denounced, even by the antiwar U.S. senator John Kerry, as "over the top," and was condemned, by a vote of 72 to 25, in the whole Senate. This condemnation was supported by more than 20 Democrats. President Bush, for his part, publicly called the ad "disgusting,"

Now, it turns out, according to Hoyt's article, quoting a company spokesman, that the Times charged only $64.585 for the ad, when it should have charged it $142,063.

(Sunday, after Hoyt's article appeared, announced it would wire the difference to The Times Monday. This was seen as an attempt to reduce its embarrassment over authoring such a sleazy ad. Between the Hoyt article and the agreement to pay more, these were precedent-setting occurrences at the New York Times).

In addition, Hoyt writes, "The ad appears to fly in the face of an internal advertising acceptability manual that says, 'We do not accept opinion advertisements that are attacks of a personal nature."

Moreover, Hoyt quotes Catherine Mathis, vice president of corporate communications for the newspaper as saying, "We made a mistake," and that the advertising department representative failed to make it clear that for the rate charged, the Times could not guarantee the Monday placement, but left with the understanding that the ad would run then, as it did. Mathis added, "That was contrary to our policies."

Hoyt says that "Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the publisher of The Times and chairman of its parent company, declined to name the salesperson (making the mistakes) or to say whether disciplinary action would be taken."

Sulzberger is the weak-kneed publisher who fired the Times' outstanding executive editor and managing editor, Howell Raines and Gerald Boyd, several years ago under pressure from left wingers on the Times reporting staff. And recently, the Times editorial page under Andrew Rosenthal has become more and more shrill at demanding that the U.S. withdraw its forces from Iraq.

As Hoyt writes this morning, "By the end of last week the ad appeared to have backfired on both and fellow opponents of the war in Iraq -- and on The Times. It gave the Bush administration and its allies an opportunity to change the subject from questions about an unpopular war to defense of a respected general with nine rows of ribbons on his chest, including a Bronze Star with a V for valor. And it gave fresh ammunition to a cottage industry that loves to bash The Times as a bastion of the 'liberal media.'"

Liberal is too kind a term to describe the New York Times these days. It has become a vitriolic exponent of the McGovernite left in the Democratic party, and is regularly smearing the Bush administration in its news pages. The staffers who once assailed the independent and honest Raines and Boyd are in full charge.

Hoyt reports that more than 4,000 e-mail messages have come in from "people around the country" who "raged at the Times with words like 'despicable,' 'disgrace' and 'treason.'"

The Times did run an ad from former New York Mayor and Republican presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani assailing the ad and charged Giuliani the same low price. But, Hoyt reports, it wouldn't give the guarantee of when an another ad would be placed at the low price to a second organization which wanted to run one also opposing the ad by That second opposition ad did not run. When agreed to pay the full price for its ad, it demanded that Giuliani pay the full rate for his.

"For me," Hoyt writes, "two values collided here: the right of free speech -- even if it's abusive speech -- and a strong personal revulsion toward the name-calling and personal attacks that now pass for political dialogue, obscuring rather than illuminating important policy issues. For The Times, there is another value: the protection of its brand as a newspaper that sets a high standard for civility. Were I in Jespersen (Steph Jespersen, the executive who approved the ad), I'd have demanded changes to eliminate 'Betray Us,' a particularly low blow when aimed at a soldier."

This is Hoyt at his finest. He leads his article this morning with this damning statement: "For nearly two weeks, The New York Times has been defending a political advertisement that critics say was an unfair shot at the American commander in Iraq."


Some 20,000 persons, led by gallant Buddhist monks, marched in Rangoon today in protest against the brutal military junta which has kept Burma enslaved for 45 years. And yesterday, a few hundred of the monks were able to pass through police lines to greet the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Daw Aung San Suu Kwi, long under house arrest, and support her opposition to the government. The London Times called the past few weeks of demonstrations "the Saffron revolution" after the monks who have led it. It was the number one story Sunday afternoon on the New York Times Web site, but, as usual, the L.A. Web site dropped the ball, not mentioning it on its front page.

San Suu Kwi, 62, winner of a massive majority in 1990 elections ignored by the junta, made her first public appearance in four years in front of her house Saturday, crying with emotion, but appearing, observers said, "fit and well."

San Suu Kwi, leader of the people of Burma, must now be brought to power and the junta deposed. She is truly, for people throughout the world, "the woman of the hour."

In one of the clearest examples of the New York Times admitting a left wing bias, the newspaper's leaders are quoted by their "public editor," or ombudsman, Clark Hoyt, this morning as confessing that they gave the far left, antiwar organization a special loaw price for its Sept. 10 ad smearing Gen. David Petraeus, comman U.S. forces in Iraq, as "General Betray us."



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