Guess what I did at lunch? That's right, I petitioned my government for redress of grievances, specifically illegal political advertising practices by the New York Times and MoveOn.org. We are all well aware of the sorry political advertisement calling the General a traitor.This was not just the ravings of Madison’s favorite …, er, I’ll think of a suitable term later, the NYTimes has cried uncle*.
Good old Benedict Petraeus, well MoveOn could hardly be expected to rise from it's wallow in the fever swamps anyhow, right? So in my first act of political crankitude I filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission regarding the discount MoveOn received. Ya' see in order to be fair newspapers and TV aren't allowed to discount political or advocacy ads so they cannot favor one side, well Hmmmmmm.
Did MoveOn.org get favored treatment from The Times? And was the ad outside the bounds of acceptable political discourse?Well done Mr. Hanson.
The answer to the first question is 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. 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.
The answer to the second question is 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.” Steph Jespersen, the executive who approved the ad, said that, while it was “rough,” he regarded it as a comment on a public official’s management of his office and therefore acceptable speech for The Times to print.
How about a Flagrant Act of Citizenship Award for Uncle Jimbo?
*Yes, I am not one to pass up a pun, good or bad.