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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Public Editor Hoyt From New York Times Lies About the "Error"

The New York Times has an article today claiming that the discounted rate of of $64,575 that paid for the attack ad against General Petraeus, instead of the normal $142,083, was an "error" on the part of the salesperson.

The answer to the first question is that paid what is known in the newspaper industry as a standby rate of $64,575 that it should not have received under Times policies. The group should have paid $142,083. The Times had maintained for a week that the standby rate was appropriate, but a company spokeswoman told me late Thursday afternoon that an advertising sales representative made a mistake.

This article doesn't just show the NYT betraying their own interests, it also betrays itself in that lie about the "error", because in a paragraph below that it says:

Eli Pariser, the executive director of, told me that his group called The Times on the Friday before Petraeus’s appearance on Capitol Hill and asked for a rush ad in Monday’s paper. He said The Times called back and “told us there was room Monday, and it would cost $65,000.” Pariser said there was no discussion about a standby rate. “We paid this rate before, so we recognized it,” he said. Advertisers who get standby rates aren’t guaranteed what day their ad will appear, only that it will be in the paper within seven days.

Look at the portions I high lighted in both of those paragraphs.

So the previous ads that had paid that same rate for, were they sold by the same salesperson making the same error?

Then he goes on to say that the ad flew in the face of an internal advertising acceptability manual that says:

“We do not accept opinion advertisements that are attacks of a personal nature.”

Then there is this statement:

Jespersen, director of advertising acceptability, reviewed the ad and approved it. He said the question mark after the headline figured in his decision.

Lets be clear here, the head line might have had a question mark at the end but the sub head line right under it, where the attack came in does not.

Cooking the books for the White House

Yet Clark Hoyt goes on to say if he had been in Jespersen's shoes he would have made MoveOn change the betray us line?

What about the Cooking the books line Mr. Hoyt? Did you not see that as an attack?

Blaming an unknown salesperson for an "error" then going on to prove that it wasn't an error at all but the standard rate for MoveOn, then blaming an unknown salesperson is nothing more that trying to escape accountability.

He says they received over 4,000 emails calling them “despicable,” “disgrace”, I agree, yet I think his piece brings us a whole new set of questions about their liberal agenda, their deflection of responsibility in blaming a salesperson for something that is obviously a standard practice for the group and the New York Times and how many ads have run through the New York times at that discounted rate and did they work with the same "salesperson" every time or are all their sales people incompetently making those errors?

Quite a few questions here.

Perhaps Mr. Hoyt would care to answer a few of them.


Phone: (212) 556-7652

Address: Public Editor
The New York Times
620 Eight Avenue.
New York, NY 10018

[Update] Viking Pundit makes a very good point here about the New York Times stock price hitting a five year low. With decisions like this, expect them to fall farther down.

It might be the case that the Times is deeply in thrall to its obsessions that it saw nothing wrong with "General Betray Us." Or maybe the Times is so hard-pressed that standards no longer matter, in both advertising and editorial dimensions. The figure of one hundred thousand dollars was mentioned by one commentator as a rough price for the ad.

Those pieces of silver did no good for the company's stock price, which hit a five year low Monday and then fell even further yesterday, down about 59% from its 5 year peak above 50, and now perilously close to the going below $20 per share.

It is abiding by their political agenda instead of any journalistic integrity that is bringing this newspaper down to new lows and from their recent decisions it seems they will continue in this downward spiral.

Others discussing this: (Via memeorandum)

NewsBusters, TigerHawk, Wizbang, Betsy's Page, Drudge, Viking Pundit, New York Daily News,A Blog For All, Instapundit, Captain's Quarters, RedState,

Tracked back by:
But They’re Not Biased from Liberty Pundit...
Betraying Its Own from Morning Coffee...