Verdict: New York Times Gave MoveOn a Discount

We've covered this for a couple weeks here on the blog (LINK)... And it turns out we were right to.

Clark Hoyt, the New York Times public editor, today confirmed the suspicions of conservative critics of the newspaper, writing in his column that the newspaper gave MoveOn.org a discounted rate on its "General Betray Us" ad that the antiwar group was not entitled to under Times pricing guidelines.

In his column (LINK) Hoyt writes that the Sept. 10, 2007, MoveOn.org 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."

Hoyt notes that "MoveOn.org paid what is known in the newspaper industry as a standby rate of $64,575 that it should not have received under Times policies." But, Hoyt says, 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."

Moreover, Hoyt says that 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.'"

Wow.

-- jpt

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