Jake Tapper at ABC News reported that MoveOn.org paid $65,000 for its full page anti-war advocacy sliming of General David Petraeus. This figure raised the suspicions of attentive blogger Confederate Yankee whose intuition appears to be correct. (h/t Michelle Malkin) While looking up the current New York Times rate book he discovered that MoveOn.org received a $102,000 discount on the standard political advocacy rate that is advertised at $167,157.
For a newspaper that pretends to be objective purveyors of news this discount seems a bit steep for the deep pocketed liberal advocacy group. In fact the amount MoveOn paid is less than any rate listed in the New York Times schedule.
There’s not much to say about the character of the New York Times that hasn’t been said already. For a paper that has been paying its investors back with lead weighted returns I’d be a little irritated if I had a stake in a venture that puts the subjective political agenda of the editorial staff above the fiduciary duty of the corporation to its investors. Especially considering that MoveOn.org could easily afford the going rate and likely would have run the ad without such a lavish discount. But then again advocacy as a business plan is exactly what the newspaper is about.
When trying to explain how the New York Times Co. managed to shave 50% off the bottom line between 2002 and 2006 some analysts felt that editorial content was not the problem. They looked at other indicators such as poor cost control.
They were wrong in my eyes. The arrogance of the people running the New York Times Co. is a reflection of the paper and its approach to journalism. I’d consider this an example of how editorial persuasion reflects much of the back room operations at the newspaper if not the company as a whole.
Yesterday the New York Times Co. reached a simultaneous low while its crown jewel newspaper reached a new low by running a personal attack ad against a war hero. Their stock reflected their standing in the world of character by ending the day with a five year low of $20.72. What a perfectly deserving reflection of the quality of the product coming out of the nation’s biggest clearing house for advocacy journalism.