Hell’s Angels Dance With The Pinheads

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 …

They’re DEAD.

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.

Courage.

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?

Right.

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.

¡Coraje!

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29 Responses to Hell’s Angels Dance With The Pinheads

  1. Pingback: The Mahablog » Political Desert

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  4. Darrell Prows says:

    Did you see that NYT got inundated with a whopping 4,000 negative e-mails over this. Our local chapter President of Eagle Forum can hit her phone tree and turn out more bodies than that at the State Capital if she smells a liberal bill somewhere on the premises. (Though that’s never mush of a problem in Utah.)

    MoveOn calls Friday. The ad folks can see a big hole in Monday that can be plugged if they can snag a sale. They do what’s necessary to generate extra revenue, probably using software that balances booked standby’s with projected open pages.
    They should have said “We will have to bump you if something urgent comes up in the next 48 hours, or you will have to pay more to guarantee placement”.

  5. “The whole MoveOn smear has obviously taken place…with [the president’s] blessing and tacit approval.”

    The smear in question is MoveOn’s attack against General Petraeus, a decorated four-star commander and American patriot.

    President Bush is right to denounce MoveOn, and Americans can see through all the haze, seeing the true interest group scoundrel in all of this. Indeed, Democrats have backed away from the MoveOn like a dose of radiation.

  6. “The whole MoveOn smear has obviously taken place…with [the president’s] blessing and tacit approval.”

    The smear in question is MoveOn’s attack against General Petraeus, a decorated four-star commander and American patriot.

    President Bush is right to denounce MoveOn, and Americans can see through all the haze, seeing the true interest group scoundrel in all of this. Indeed, Democrats have backed away from the MoveOn like a dose of radiation.

  7. Pingback: MoveOn Moves On, Challenges Rudy To Do His Duty « his vorpal sword

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  9. Ernst Blofeld says:

    The NYT did in fact improperly give MoveOn a discount. They NYT has admitted to it.

    If I understand you correctly, you’re saying its OK for you to be completely wrong on the facts so long as you believe your cause to be just.

    When are you going to apologize to the bloggers you smeared who had the story right from the start?

  10. Stephen Fox says:

    After everything is said and done in this election, a few insightful folks may soon recognize the Iraq War as the most serious thing threatening the future of the USA. I hope your readers have read New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson’s op/ed piece from the Washington Post on how and why we must get out of Iraq, from 16 days ago. If not, here it is, in full, after a few remarks by me:

    There is a much larger scale confrontation with Bush from the candidates regarding the Iraq War and the problems it is continuing to cause, after six years of Halliburton and Brown and Root and Blackwater corporate kleptocracy. Only one candidate, it is clear to me, is really slamming the truth and providing the logistics and rationale for ending this disastrous war: Bill Richardson. This article was printed in the Washington Post 16 days ago, and please take the time to read it:

    _______________________

    Why We Should Exit Iraq Now

    *** COMMENT EDITED BY MODERATOR TO PROVIDE LINK & REMOVE ARTICLE ***

    *** MODERATOR’S NOTE TO STEPHEN FOX – PLEASE PROVIDE LINK TO ARTICLE IN THE FUTURE – NOT THE ARTICLE ***

  11. Ernst Blofeld

    Thank you for sharing. I don’t think you fully understand the complexities. MoveON may have been given a discount but so has Rudy Guiliani. Where’s the outrage from the rightwing bloggers on that?

  12. Ernst Blofeld says:

    Guilliani might legitimately have gotten a discount rate for standby, since he was not tied to a specific day.

    But I denounce the NYT’s efforts to cover up their bias by offering discount rates to Guilliani, too. They effectively made two in-kind contributions to two different campaigns.

    Where is the apology to the bloggers who got it right from the start? They said MoveOn got an unjustified ad rate. You called them a bunch of nasty names. Now the NYT comes along and says they were right all along–MoveOn was indeed given an unjustified ad rate. Your abuse was completely unjustified.

    Where’s the apology?

  13. Ernst Blofeld says:

    Guilliani might legitimately have gotten a discount rate for standby, since he was not tied to a specific day.

    But I denounce the NYT’s efforts to cover up their bias by offering discount rates to Guilliani, too. They effectively made two in-kind contributions to two different campaigns.

    Where is the apology to the bloggers who got it right from the start? They said MoveOn got an unjustified ad rate. You called them a bunch of nasty names. Now the NYT comes along and says they were right all along–MoveOn was indeed given an unjustified ad rate. Your abuse was completely unjustified.

    Where’s the apology?

  14. Ernst Blofeld

    Personally I’m still waiting for the right wing bloggers to apologize for ALL the things they have gotten wrong, ALL the names they have called liberals and progressives and our elected officials and candidates.

    Where are ALL those apologies?

  15. Darrell Prows says:

    Pamela: Have I ever told you how beautiful you are?

  16. Darrell

    I’m blushing… LOL!

  17. Darrell

    I’m blushing… LOL!

  18. Ernst Blofeld says:

    Why would that matter to you? You got it wrong, and egregiously so. Not only did you get it wrong, you slimed the people who were right from the start, and continue to slime them even now that you’ve been shown to be wrong. Common decency would dictate that you apologize. After all, aren’t you supposed to be better than those evil right wingers?

    At least we know what to expect now of your blog. You’ll lie to us. When shown to be lying, you’ll lie more. And your sychophants will revel in your lies. Who knows, perhaps you’ll develop a following. (You don’t seem to have one now.) It will be an ugly, warped following, but a following. You’ll gain a reputation as a baying fool.

    If that’s the road you want to go down, I can’t stop you.

  19. Ernst Blofeld

    I think the bigger question here is WHY does it matter to you?

  20. Ernst Blofeld says:

    I like rational discourse. Harto is not engaging in it. So I like to mock him. Pointing out his mistakes is an easy way to do it.

  21. Ernst Blofeld

    So let me ask you this then… Do you think the right wing bloggers engage in rational discourse?

    I like rational discourse too. But politics is a tough subject to to engage in rational discourse sometimes. And bloggers andwriters all have styles of their own. Harto is passionate and often very funny. Where as I tend to be more temperate in my writing style.

  22. Ernst Blofeld says:

    Yes, some of them do. Confederate Yankee, for example. He’s been on a roll lately and has broken some stories–for example, the NYT ad rate and the TNR story. In comparison harto seems screechy and not exactly up to his caliber. The Powerline guys are quite good, too, and did excellent work with the phony Rather memos. Insty is semi-libertarian but reasonable.

    If you want to go looking for the lowest possible standard to compare your behavior against, you’ll get pretty low standards. Why do that?

  23. Ernst Blofeld

    I don’t think there is anything rational or polite about this tag line at the top of Confederate Yankee: “Because liberalism is a persistent vegetative state.”

    Talk about lowest possible standards. CY insults liberals on the top of every page.

  24. Darrell Prows says:

    Ernst: I’ll tell you what I think happened (and I’ve never seen anything that says that this is not at least part of what went on).

    I’ve been reading a newspaper on a near daily basis for over fifty years and I’ve never found one yet with a white hole. I believe that the industry has ways of balancing space and content. I’ve purchased newspaper advertising at times, and I’ve been given a rock bottom rate if I’ll basically leave a print ready item that can be run as, and as often as needed. Incredibly low prices. And I’ve also read enough bullshit wire service copy that I know papers will dip in and buy some as a last resort. So, I believe, the choice is get paid something, or pay something to keep from having a hole, and this is a constant process because newspapers are in the business of producing the ultimate perishable product.

    When I’ve need to use newspaper ads, I’ve been given an account executive to work through. These folks are paid commission, meaning that their job is sales. When I’ve tried to call up and just get my hands on a order taker, I’ve been required to work with “my salesperson”. You ever know anybody in sales to work real hard to make a sale? You ever know any of them to go over the line?

    The “offending” piece was in the Monday paper. When I’ve been in NYC it seems like the first edition every day hits the street at about 12:01 am. MoveOn bought on Friday, and there are indications that it would not have bought at all if the sales call had not gone satisfactorily. There were only a very small number of “normal business hours” remaining between the sale and the beginning of the printing process. The A.E., in other words, would not have made a commission if he or she did not make a sale. With their job potentially on the line for a $70,000 error, and being experienced, I can only believe that a strong rationalization effort was made to conclude that this really is something that would not be a problem with management.

    Process wise, can you show me anything that contradicts this? And if not, have you ever seen any bigger mountain made out of any smaller molehill?

  25. Darrell Prows says:

    Oh, and thanks for calling me a lie loving sychophant. Coming from you I’ll take that as a compliment.

  26. Darrell: Excellent stuff. Appreciated.

    Blo feld/viator: My response is HERE.

  27. Pingback: Dr. Evil Trolls For Retractions « his vorpal sword

  28. Ernst Blofeld says:

    “and I’ve never seen anything that says that this is not at least part of what went on”

    You apparently haven’t been looking. You’ve built an elaborate series of suppositions and assumptions about what went on. The problem is, the management of the NYT contradicts all of it. MoveOn did not qualify for a standby rate. How do we know this? Because the NYT, via its corproate officers and editors, has told us so. Are you calling them liars?

    Who do you think has a better idea of what rate should have been charged? Shouldn’t the company selling the ad itself be the primary source? And if they say MoveOn did not qualify for the lower rate, shouldn’t we believe them?

  29. Darrell Prows says:

    You and I have both said that a mistake was made. I’ve addressed the process by which the end result was most likely reached. You say it wasn’t like that but add nothing about what really happened.

    The truth not sinister enough for you? Or the full story just doesn’t matter to you?