Oh, good grief.
The non-scandal that’s been touted as a scandal, the embarrassment to the rightie blogosmear, Faux Nooz, Rush Limbaugh, etc. has been granted new life by the New York Post‘s chief rival for the slimy tabloid crown in New York City, the New York Daily News.
Here’s the headline:
N.Y. Times admits Petraeus ad sold to Moveon.org at 1/2 off
BY RICH SCHAPIRO
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Sunday, September 23rd 2007, 4:00 AM
The old gray lady has some explaining to do.
Officials at the New York Times have admitted a liberal activist group was permitted to pay half the rate it should have for a provocative ad condemning U.S. Iraq commander Gen. David Petraeus.
The MoveOn ad, which cast Petraeus as “General Betray Us” and attacked his truthfulness, ran on the same day the commander made a highly anticipated appearance before Congress.
But since the liberal group paid the standby rate of $64,575 for the full-page ad, it should not have been guaranteed to run on Sept. 10, the day Petraeus warned Congress against a rapid withdrawal of troops from Iraq, Times personnel said.
“We made a mistake,” Catherine Mathis, vice president of corporate communications for The Times, told the newspaper’s public editor.
Mathis said an advertising representative left the liberal group with the understanding that the ad would run that Monday even though they had been charged the standby rate.
The group should have paid $142,083 to ensure placement that day….
Er … well, the headline’s not EXACTLY right. But then the righties couldn’t have a field day, could they? (And they will. Right now on Memeorandum, none have picked up on it, it’s tabula rasa, but don’t expect THAT to last).
But let me see if I get this right: because the ad appeared on the right day, and it was on “standby,” the rate for the timing should have been double? But if it had appeared on standby because no one tried to buy the timing, it was the right price? Gee. I guess I fail to see a huge scandalous difference. (But we shall all be shortly disabused, no doubt.)
The whole MoveOn smear has obviously taken place — if not at White House insistence — then certainly with its blessing and tacit approval. Bush’s extreme anger at the MoveOn ad is well documented in the past week, and undoubtedly the additional attack on the New York Times is in keeping with his private version of the “Alien and Sedition Act” of the John Adams Administration.
The “scandal” article goes on to say (after throwing in gratuitous Rudy v. Hillary nonsense):
Eli Pariser, the executive director of MoveOn, told The Times there was no discussion of a standby rate when a member of the group called the paper on Friday, requesting the Monday ad.
So: Scandal? Non-scandal? More smoke and mirrors BS?
As Bill Richardson noted yesterday, ads don’t kill people; wars kill people. And one million Iraqis could attest to that, except …
Please explain to me how that’s unimportant, while one $56,000 ad requires the attention of the Known World to place it at the center of the Rhetorical Universe.
As I’m sure they will.
UPDATE @ 7:53 AM PDT: The NY Times‘ “Public Editor” is now wailing, beating his chest, sackcloth and ashes, etc. over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. As noted, the alleged “favoritism” is so minor that only a careful parsing and very precise legalistic hoo-haw can pump hot air back into this balloon. But what the hell. We are now cursed with the unloosing of those tongues that had suddenly gone still, rather than admit that they’d over-reacted. Now they can over-react at will.
After all, playing up this non-scandal about a non-scandalous headline (Petraeus DID betray us) maintains the Times‘ credibility with those who would destroy it, right? And it clears the air so that we can talk about that war that’s killing humans for NO FRIGGING reason now, other than to salve a madman’s ego, right? And now the nation can “move on,” away from BS diversions to the actual, criminal war that’s bleeding this nation white, right?
Fat chance. Unlike the Times, I stand by my words.
UPDATE 2 @ 8:32 AM PDT: Looks like “General Betrayus” was cribbed. Yes, this horrible breaking scandal is reported by MediaMatters, which also cites Ben Smith’s Politico blog. Gosh. Looks like the original use of the Petraeus/Betrayus pun came from … the Rush Limbaugh Show. How much attention will be given this bit of info in the screamfest that’s already ramping up?
UPDATE 3 @ 10:28 AM PDT: With an almost palpable sigh of relief, the rightie blogosmear has gone KARAZEEEEE on this story. See HERE. Notice how many are the same blogs embarrassed last week in piling on to Butt Plug Bob’s plagiarized story in the New York Post HERE.
A far cry from the wan and dispirited few who attempted to push the jihad against the New York Times the next day, by claiming that the Times played favorites by NOT accepting the “Swift Boat Veterans” ads in 2004. HERE.
One might hope they could get a life, but, given the disaster of the Iraq War, the Surge, and the double whammy of Petraeus’ lousy testimony, and Bush’s awful speech last week, one can understand why they’d want to revive the banshee screaming of their NYT attack. After all, calling the credibility of the “MSM” into question is the only way that their spin can survive the light of public scrutiny. No, this isn’t trivial — in its place in the overall “War on Facts.” It’s just a trivial bone or them to be chewing on. And it keeps the MoveOn story going for a third week.
UPDATE 4 @ 4:17 PM PDT: As predicted, a major rightie blogosmear blogswarm™ is underway, 1900 hours, EDT, 2300 hours, GMT. It is as massive a swarm as I’ve ever seen, with all the usual suspects from L’Affaire Beauchamp, from L’Affaire Dan Rather, and L’Affaire Plame. Some are among the two groups of bloggers that have conferred with the White House in the last month. Others are among the Usual Suspects.
The New York Times, an object of the White House’s wrath is under attack by the entire Rightie Media. ABC radio news made it their top story in several of the past hour and half-hour segments. If the “MSM” runs true to form, they will jump on the attack bandwagon, and the NYT will be disciplined for their transgression. The ABC news soundbite was of a GOP something-or-other saying: “Well now that proves the New York Times’ LIBERAL BIAS on the war.”
Which is appropriate, perhaps, for Alice in Wonderland, of course, but just as crazy as characterizing DailyKos based on comments madew on blog postings. (An increasingly popular pastime of Bush’s Blogging Brownshirts, I note.)
Ironic that the Dan Rather case was laid out so perfectly today in the Huffington Post by Mary Mapes, who was forced to walk the plank at CBS during the Dan Rather affair in 2004. Now, read this and see if it doesn’t follow the same script that the same swarmers followed in their “hit” on The New Republic during August and July.
Gee, you don’t suppose that was the “scrimmage” before the kick off of this campaign, do you? I mean, somebody who took down the CBS anchor, AND intimidated thereby, every other TV news organization in one fell swoop … you don’t suppose that they’d go after the New York Times for the same reason. (The press HAS been getting uppity, after all.)
Read the Mapes piece and see if this doesn’t follow the same script. (Guess what they’ll be talking about on talk radio tomorrow, instead of the War?).
And ask yourself this: Isn’t it an amazing coincidence that Bob Owens, the Confederate Yankee ( referred to sometimes as ‘Butt Plug Bob’ for obvious reasons), why ISN’T it an AMAZING coincidence that General Petraeus’ Public Relations Officer, Col. Steven Boylan FIRST emailed Bob the results of the Army’s investigation in the “Private Beauchamp” affair last month on August 4, and then HE’s the one that “finds” the “scandalous” discount that the New York Times supposedly gave MoveOn dot org.* Man, that Bob Owens must really be in the groove as a citizen journalist. Coming up with TWO scoops like that in one month! Bravo Bob. Incredible reportorial luck there, for sure. (Usually Bob blogs pretty exclusively about the (pro-) war and the MSM’s ‘distortion’ of it.)
Even more amazing, they BOTH advance White House military agendas. Wow.
[* Allegedly because the managing editors of the paper PERSONALLY booked the ad — and decided on the price! Which proves, says ABC radio news, sort of (they didn’t actually SAY it, they just quote a GOP source SAYING IT, without comment or counterquote) that the New York Times has an “anti-war bias.” ]
Blog swarm commenced 2300 hours ZULU. Continuing updates throughout the night.
Now, go and READ the Mary Mapes piece. It’s important.