Patterico's Pontifications

9/23/2007

MoveOn.Org’s $77,508 Freebie

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:54 am



What do you know? MoveOn.org did get a price break after all.

But not to worry. It was an innocent mistake.

84 Responses to “MoveOn.Org’s $77,508 Freebie”

  1. In her defense, I think one has to make the connection between advertising people at the Times who gave this discount and the poohbahs in the editorial offices. Did the latter know of or approve the action?

    If one can show a link between Pinch/Keller et al. and this discount, the story has some troubling aspects.

    Except for those who will always have Judy, Judy, Judy to kick around…..

    SMG

    SteveMG (6a854a)

  2. The NY Times will probably have election law consequences from this, no matter why it happened. If there were perfect justice, the punishment would include a requirement that the Times charge the lower rate for all political ads until the 2008 general elections.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  3. If conservatives were working on CAFE standards as diligently as they are on this story, our dependence on imported oil would be a thing of the past.

    Semanticleo (4741c2)

  4. Semanticleo:

    Can you ever make a post on any blog without trying to change the subject?

    gahrie (56a0a8)

  5. Just saying the mileage and efficiency of this story suggests their talents are underutilized.

    Semanticleo (4741c2)

  6. Cleo, why don’t you work on CAFE standards? If you wave your magical liberal wand, I’m sure the 2009 models will have 75 mpg, no problems.

    Techie (c003f1)

  7. If conservatives were working on CAFE standards as diligently as they are on this story, our dependence on imported oil would be a thing of the past.

    And this person’s vote is equal to mine.

    I should march on Washington but I’ve got to wash our cars and vacuum the spare bedrooms.

    SMG

    SteveMG (6a854a)

  8. From the Ombudsman’s statement:

    “Eli Pariser, the executive director of MoveOn.org, told me that his group called The Times on the Friday before Petraeus’s appearance on Capitol Hill and asked for a rush ad in Monday’s paper. He said The Times called back and “told us there was room Monday, and it would cost $65,000.” Pariser said there was no discussion about a standby rate. “We paid this rate before, so we recognized it,” he said. Advertisers who get standby rates aren’t guaranteed what day their ad will appear, only that it will be in the paper within seven days.”

    MoveOn.org “paid this rate before” and was not told it was a standby rate. It sounds like MoveOn.org always paid the standby rate without realizing it, probably because it placed ads through the same NY Times ad rep every time.

    I wonder how far back in time the selective discounting for Moveon.org goes?

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  9. What’s that smell? — the NYT’s rotting ethics.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  10. What’s that smell? — the NYT’s rotting ethics.

    NYT’s—–CSU Student Paper, what’s the difference?

    Rovin (7f64b8)

  11. Hey Itsme,

    Where are you?

    Where’s your “reasonable doubt” style attempt at spinning this story?

    $142,083 for a full-page ad guaranteed to run on a date certain. $64,575 for a full-page “standby” ad to run on any date of the paper’s choosing within a seven-day period. MoveOn got the date-certain guarantee but paid the standby price even though the ad was foreseeably controversial and ran on the very morning of Petraeus’s hotly anticipated testimony, when the ad reps logically should have been charging an arm and a leg for space. What happened?

    It was a “mistake.”

    It may have been a “mistake” (since that’s what Catherine Mathis called it), but the NYT still broke election law.

    And Catherine Mathis, who statements you used to “prove” that the NYT didn’t break any laws, is now on record refuting your argument.

    Paul (12207d)

  12. If conservatives were working on CAFE standards as diligently as they are on this story, our dependence on imported oil would be a thing of the past.

    Perhaps you should contact your representatives in Congress, Miss Cleo. After all, your side is running both houses. In addition, your side is too busy undermining conservatives and running juvenile attack ads at big discounts to address CAFE standards.

    Paul (12207d)

  13. The NY Times will probably have election law consequences from this, no matter why it happened. If there were perfect justice, the punishment would include a requirement that the Times charge the lower rate for all political ads until the 2008 general elections.

    Comment by DRJ — 9/23/2007 @ 9:44 am

    Absolutely.

    Government controlling prices and mandating that a business lose money is what we’re all working for.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  14. Perfect Sense – The NYT has its own Ethicist, Randy Cohen. The problem is, he’s got ethics issues of his own.

    NYT stock price should be down Monday.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  15. Paul #11:

    I’m right here, catching up on the story.

    You based your earlier assertions on the same information that we all had, that the NYT gave MoveOn its standard standby rate. Which is not a violation of election laws.

    If it turns out the ad person guaranteed the date – or simply didn’t inform them that it was a standby date – and it was a mistake, it still isn’t a violation of election laws. There has to be an intentional gift.

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  16. Itsme,

    How do you know the ad rep didn’t intentionally discount the ad? Because the Times says so? Good luck on that one.

    I’m not familiar with election law but I suspect it’s enough to show a violation if an intentional act resulted in a donation/gift. At the very least, it’s probably permissible to infer intent from a pattern of behavior, and the MoveOn.org quote indicates it was also charged this price for prior ads. We don’t know if the NY Times ad rep made a pricing error or if, instead, s/he intentionally charged a discounted price in violation of company policy. But if it was a pure mistake, it was apparently a mistake that the Times’ advertising department had made before.

    Whatever happened, I think it’s clear that the possibility of election law violations is an issue for MoveOn.org and explains why it has now paid the difference in ad rates to the New York Times.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  17. DRJ – I am no lawyer/prosecutor/etc … but can one violate election law unintentionally, and not be held responsible for it? I never thought that ignorance of the law was an acceptable excuse. Given that the NY Time and moveon were direct beneficiaries of the McCain fiasco, I doubt that either party was unaware of the questionable legality of their transaction. Paying the difference after the fact seems to be a tacit admission of guilt. Given their recent track record with the FEC, I suspect that was done to head off any further actions.

    JD (c3bb88)

  18. JD,

    I assume the election laws make allowances for technical violations that are not wrongfully intended vs. violations that actively attempt to skirt the law. Both might be violations of the law but the applicable fine or punishment might be different.

    But I don’t know about election law and this is a guess based on the way other areas of administrative law work.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  19. I believe that under the First Amendment (even as amendend by McCain-Feingold) it would be difficult to punish NYT for this. There is no question that NYT could have put the ad on every page at no charge at all if it had been its own original editorial idea. The only reason the FEC comes into this is because of moron.rog’s (sic) PAC status and it’s a pretty thin nexus — to hold a newspaper vicariously responsible in a freedom of the press question for the restrictions imposed by the government on an artificial entity.

    nk (7c7414)

  20. Here’s the American Conservative Union’s complaint filed with the FEC that claims there were violations by the NY Times for an illegal contribution and Moveon.org for accepting it. Of course, the fact that a complaint was filed doesn’t make the allegations true or actionable, but the linked letter lists the statutory provisions and bases for the complaint if anyone knows enough about this to evaluate it.

    If anything, I’d say Moveon.org has the better position in this situation. It claimed this was the standard rate it paid for this ad and for prior ads, and it’s now paid the deficiency from the last ad buy. Moveon.org’s hands look cleaner than the NY Times’.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  21. Hi DRJ:

    How do you know the ad rep didn’t intentionally discount the ad? Because the Times says so? Good luck on that one.

    Well, if I’m reading the article correctly, it wasn’t that the ad rep discounted the ad, but that he or she did not make it clear it was being taken on a standby basis:

    “Catherine Mathis, vice president of corporate communications for The Times, said, ‘We made a mistake.’ She said the advertising representative failed to make it clear that for that rate The Times could not guarantee the Monday placement but left MoveOn.org with the understanding that the ad would run then. She added, ‘That was contrary to our policies.’

    —————————————

    the MoveOn.org quote indicates it was also charged this price for prior ads

    Pariser didn’t say he was the one who spoke to the NYT or even that he was the one who “recognized the rate,” and I’d be surprised if he was that hands-on with the advertising buys. If it’s like other groups, it wouldn’t surprise me if there were several people relaying info to several other people who understood their own little part of it. We just don’t know without more info, but I agree that MoveOn probably wasn’t knowingly taking a discount it wasn’t entitled to. And if, as you say, it’s paid the deficiency, it’s really a non-issue.

    For there to be a problem, there really would have to be a provable pattern of intentional misbehavior on both sides.

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  22. Do you think the legal standard for election law violations is a “provable pattern of intentional misbehavior on both sides”?

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  23. The donation/discount was either lawful, or contrary to the law. Acts/donations stand on their own. Given Moveon’s stellar reputation with the FEC, lol, and their fairly quick donation to the NY Times once this became public, I suspect that they knew it was wrong, and would have never written the check had this not had some sunlight shown upon it.

    JD (c3bb88)

  24. DRJ #22:

    #

    Do you think the legal standard for election law violations is a “provable pattern of intentional misbehavior on both sides”?

    I was thinking of your statement about “inferring intent from a pattern of behavior.”

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  25. JD # 23:

    The FEC guide that the WSJ links to and evidently relies on defines a “contribution” as
    “anything of value given to influence a federal election.”

    You raise an interesting point. I had been thinking in terms of the FEC provisions linked to in a prior thread that define a “contribution” as “anything of value given to influence a federal election.” Which to me implies intent, but if the question goes to a technical violation by an unintentional act…

    http://www.fec.gov/pdf/colagui.pdf
    (p. 14)

    I still don’t know how the “influencing a federal election” part applies anyway, but since PACs aren’t allowed to receive more than a certain amount, maybe it goes to the character of the recipient instead. Don’t know.

    However, if it was a matter of giving somebody a standby rate simply without informing them it’s a standby rate, it’s hard to see where any violation would occur.

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  26. Oops, I lifted a quote from a prior thread when I meant only to lift the link. Sorry.

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  27. Let’s assume the best facts for MoveOn.org and the NY Times. To me, that would be these facts:

    The MoveOn.org ad person asks a NY Times advertising representative (with whom s/he regularly deals) for a Monday ad. The Times ad rep quotes a price of $65,000, not realizing this is the price of a standby rate. MoveOn.org pays $65,000 and the ad runs on Monday, as agreed.

    This may have happened before so both parties have become accustomed to this rate and never realize there is a mistake.

    The problem with this scenario is two-fold: First, no wonder the Times is losing so much money. Second, it may still be a violation provided another political advertiser paid the correct rate at another time – and FreedomsWatch claims it did.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  28. DRJ:

    I don’t think the NYT said the ad rep didn’t realize it was the standby rate. It said the ad rep didn’t explain to MoveOn that it was the standby rate.

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  29. PS to DRJ:

    Evidently the NYT is losing money because of declining classified ad revenues. And it has a fair amount of company.

    Forbes

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  30. Sulzberger, who said he wasn’t aware of MoveOn.org’s latest ad until it appeared in the paper, said: “If we’re going to err, it’s better to err on the side of more political dialogue. … Perhaps we did err in this case. If we did, we erred with the intent of giving greater voice to people.”

    While leaving the question of error open, I think that clears up the intent question.

    Pablo (99243e)

  31. Itsme #28,

    If so, that doesn’t change MoveOn.org’s position but it would hurt the Times’ position. I was trying to construct the best-case scenario for the Times and analyze that.

    What do you think about this:

    (1). MoveOn.org wanted to run a targeted ad on Monday to coincide with Petraeus’ testimony. The point of the ad was its timing as much as its content.

    (2). Despite that, the NY Times’ ad rep quoted a standby rate, knew it was a standby rate, and failed to tell MoveOn.org that it was a standby rate.

    These aren’t logical or consistent positions so one of them must be wrong. Which one is wrong?

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  32. DRJ:

    I’m not sure they’re illogical or inconsistent. I don’t see why both couldn’t have happened.

    We don’t know exactly how MoveOn presented it to the NYT ad people. We do know from prior comments by the NYT spokeswoman that even with standby ads they do try to accomodate when a date is requested, and they inform the buyer of the date the ad will run.

    In the end, speculating on other scenarios is just that … speculation.

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  33. No, itsme. Were it to have been a standby rate, moveon would have felt no compunction to pay the difference in the ad rates.

    JD (c3bb88)

  34. JD #33:

    No, itsme. Were it to have been a standby rate, moveon would have felt no compunction to pay the difference in the ad rates.

    That doesn’t follow. They were given the standby rate. They were not told it was the standby rate. That doesn’t mean they were not given the standby rate.

    Here is MoveOn’s statement:

    Now that the Times has revealed this mistake for the first time, and while we believe that the $142,083 figure is above the market rate paid by most organizations, out of an abundance of caution we have decided to pay that rate for this ad. We will therefore wire the $77,083 difference to the Times tomorrow (Monday, September 24, 2007).

    Press release

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  35. Itsme,

    MoveOn.org cared about the run date. I can’t believe they would be so incompetent as to place a time-sensitive ad without any assurances regarding when the ad would run, nor can I believe that the NY Times accepted a full-page attack ad without any oversight, review or discussion of terms except “The fee is $65,000.” Nevertheless, there’s no denying that people can sometimes be amazingly incompetent.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  36. If they requested the stand by rate, or we quoted the stand by rate, why would they now feel, out of an abundance of caution, to follow campaign law when they have shown no similar desire to do so previously? People do not normally run around writing checks for $70,000+ because someone else may have made a mistake. I am just curious about what they have paid all the other times.

    JD (c3bb88)

  37. DRJ #35:

    Well, remember that MoveOn was not told it was standby. Quite likely the management in the ad sales dept assumed the ad rep had informed the buyer it was being sold on a standby basis.

    Yep, people can and do screw up. I’d hate to be that ad rep right now.

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  38. JD:

    I don’t see where they said they were doing it to “follow campaign law” but who knows, they may wish to avoid just such a controversy.

    I also don’t see where they requested a standby rate.

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  39. And because they had a time sensitive ad and obviously cared about the run date, they shouldn’t have been given the standby rate.

    How do you suppose a commissioned salesperson working for a for profit company can accidentally discount an ad by $77K? They accidentally gave away half of their income and the paper accidentally let them?

    Pablo (99243e)

  40. It’s also possible they just wish to avoid any appearance of having some sort of sweetheart deal with the NYT.

    I do find their exhortation to Rudy to do the same sort of funny.

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  41. Are you talking to me, Pablo?

    If so, according to the NYT, people request specific dates all the time. If they want the standby rate, they will not be guaranteed the date, though the paper will try to accomodate if possible.

    There’s nothing that says the salesperson “accidentally discounted” the rate. They said the salesperson quoted MoveOn the standard, across-the-board standby rate. The problem was that he or she failed to tell them it was the standby rate. How would the paper know the ad rep failed to inform the customer of that?

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  42. Moron.org is just trying to help a fellow traveler out with a problem by reimbursing them for going rate for conservative advertisers. They have no obligation to do so. Eli said the $65,000 rate was familiar to them and they were told that there was space in the Monday edition, so what worries did they have. The kerfuffle is all due to the actions of the Times.

    Fairness doctrine baby – catch the fever. Discounted advertising for everyone. Oops! Don’t want to do that or run afoul of the FEC so would you guys mind reimbursing us? We show you the love in our editorials. Thanks a lot, fellas.

    How’s that gold mine venture going Georgie, you know the one you’ve got going to take advantage of the one you’re getting shut down for environmewntal reasons but don’t want to tell anyone about? We can help you out there too, okay.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  43. Itsme,

    There’s nothing that says the salesperson “accidentally discounted” the rate.

    Well, there’s this:

    “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.

    They said the salesperson quoted MoveOn the standard, across-the-board standby rate. The problem was that he or she failed to tell them it was the standby rate. How would the paper know the ad rep failed to inform the customer of that?

    What they were quoted is irrelevant. What they were or were not told about standby rates is irrelevant. What they were charged for what they received is what matters, and they were charged less than half what they should have been for what they intended to and did indeed buy and receive.

    Again, how does a commissioned salesperson make such a “mistake” and how does the paper let them do it?

    Pablo (99243e)

  44. daleyrocks #42:

    Moron.org is just trying to help a fellow traveler out with a problem by reimbursing them for going rate for conservative advertisers.

    Just curious…do you know of any conservative advertisers who requested standby space and got a higher quote?

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  45. Itsme #41:

    How would the paper know the ad rep failed to inform the customer [that it was a standby ad]?

    Here’s a couple of guesses:

    — Because the NY Times is a business where they write down the details of orders, send them to other people to implement, and file them for future reference.

    — Because the NY Times provides confirmation copies of customer orders which includes the terms of the order.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  46. Just curious…do you know of any conservative advertisers who requested standby space and got a higher quote?

    Are you suggesting that MoveOn requested the standby rate?

    Pablo (99243e)

  47. Pablo, I didn’t say the ad rep didn’t make a mistake. I said I don’t see where it said the ad rep “accidentally discounted” the rate.

    What they were quoted, and what they were told is entirely relevant. If the salesperson did not understand that they were seeking a guaranteed, no exceptions run date, then it’s a mistake give them a standby deal…which evidently is what the ad rep thought he or she was doing. As said before, they try to accomdate for the requested date when possible.

    However, there’s nothing in the articles that I’ve seen that said MoveOn was clear that they wanted a guaranteed, no exceptions date. They requested the date, and they had the impression they’d get it. Again, the fault of the ad rep if he or she didn’t make clear it wasn’t guaranteed.

    If they were charged for a standby ad and received an ad that was run on a standby basis, then there is no problem, even if they received it on the date they wished.

    And again, the paper “lets” somebody make such a mistake if it assumes the person has informed the customer of the standby basis.

    We may hear more later, but this is what the information that is out there says to me.

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  48. Sorry, I think I meant to say: “then it’s not a mistake to give them a standby deal…”

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  49. Pablo #46:

    Are you suggesting that MoveOn requested the standby rate?

    I was responding to the suggestion that there was a “going rate for conservative advertisers” which was always higher.

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  50. DRJ #45:

    Yes, and if the ad rep wrote down “standby ad for MoveOn” that would be what they had on file, wouldn’t it?

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  51. What they were quoted, and what they were told is entirely relevant. If the salesperson did not understand that they were seeking a guaranteed, no exceptions run date, then it’s a mistake give them a standby deal…which evidently is what the ad rep thought he or she was doing.

    They wanted and got a specific run date. That is not standby, but they were charged and paid the standby rate.

    The rep gave away half of their commission and half of the paper’s income and no one said “Boo” until Bob Owens did. there are only two possible explanations: an intentional sweetheart deal or utter incompetence up and down the line.

    Pablo (99243e)

  52. Yes, Itsme, but there may be more on the form that would shed light on this transaction. In addition, I’d like to see the confirmation copy sent to MoveOn.org.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  53. I was responding to the suggestion that there was a “going rate for conservative advertisers” which was always higher.

    Right, but you’re asking about conservative orgs that requested the standby rate. Are you suggesting that MoveOn requested the standby rate, or better yet, that they wanted a standby ad and not a specific run date?

    Pablo (99243e)

  54. PS to DRJ re “confirmation copies” – if you are speaking of a copy sent to the customer, I agree that it would reflect the standby terms (though not sure how detailed it would be). However, as this was an ad buy that evidently took place over the phone just a couple of days before the ad ran, it seems entirely possible to me that MoveOn still had the impression they were getting the date they asked for. In fact, you can get the date you ask for if they have room, and they let you know ahead of time.

    As I say, I completely accept the idea of human screw ups along the way.

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  55. Sorry Pablo, I can only repeat what I said before.

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  56. DRJ #52:

    I agree that it would shed more light on the transaction, but in the end would only likely point to a human screw up.

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  57. You can tell me if you’re inferring that and whether you believe that MoveOn requested the standby rate or a standby ad.

    it seems to me that you do, lest you wouldn’t have asked the question. Am I correct in that or not?

    Pablo (99243e)

  58. Pable #53:

    Right, but you’re asking about conservative orgs that requested the standby rate.

    Because to say conservative groups always get higher rates only makes sense if they ask for an ad that would qualify for the lower rate but get the higher rate quoted to them.

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  59. Pablo, MoveOn said they asked for an ad to run on Monday. The ad rep believes he or she quoted a rate with the understanding that the date could not be guaranteed.

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  60. PS to DRJ:

    Pure speculation. Who knows, maybe the MO person said, oh by the way, we want the $65K rate we paid last time” without realize “last time” was a standby ad.

    So many possibilities for people to screw up.

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  61. uh, without realizing, not “without realize”

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  62. MoveOn was announcing the ad before it ran. They knew it was going to run Monday. They believed it was guaranteed. They got what they knew to be the guaranteed date they wanted.

    Are you suggesting that the rep thought differently, and they just got lucky with the placement of an ad that said:

    Today, before Congress and before the American people, General Petraeus is likely to become General Betray Us.

    Pablo (99243e)

  63. Pablo, MoveOn said they asked for an ad to run on Monday. The ad rep believes he or she quoted a rate with the understanding that the date could not be guaranteed.

    Or, alternatively, do you think that ad rep as well as his supervisors are completely incompetent?

    Pablo (99243e)

  64. The NYT spokeswoman had already said they let the buyer know the date ahead of time if they can.

    Yes, MO evidently thought they had a guaranteed date.

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  65. Quote from NYT for Pablo:

    As for advance word of when a standby ad is running, she said: “Someone might say, ‘I’d like the standby rate, I’d like it to run tomorrow,’ and we say, ‘We can’t guarantee that,’ but then if we find out it is running, we let them know. If we have room, we try to accommodate them.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/14/us/politics/14paper.html?ref=politics

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  66. Itsme,

    This ad was date specific, as indicated by the copy. The wrong run date would screw the message up. They knew when it would run from the get go, yet they paid the standby rate.

    The Times is admitting at least “a mistake”. That you can’t see one mystifies me.

    Pablo (99243e)

  67. Itsme – You seem to be arguing that no mistakes were made. If so, why is the NYT admitting they screwed up and why is moron.org reinbursing them? Neither action makes any sense according to your logic.

    According to Hoyt’s piece, Freedomswatch asked for an ad to run after the moron.org piece and was turned down. Neither org apparently specifically asked for a standby agreement according to the article. The conservative org just wanted the same price and a certain date, just like the moonbats.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  68. Pablo, I have said – how many times now? – that MO always thought they were getting the date they wanted.

    I never said it wasn’t a mistake. Quite the opposite.

    G’night.

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  69. Daleyrocks –

    I’m arguing no such thing, sorry. See my priors.

    Freedomwatch asked for the same price and was given the same price, the standby price, which is what NYT gave MO. The ad rep failed to make clear to MO that it was the standby price.

    So if you can provide me with evidence of a conservative – notice I don’t use the word wingnut? – group asking for a standby price and getting a higher quote, I’d like to see it. Thanks.

    G’night too.

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  70. Itsme’s logic in #47 – Pablo, I didn’t say the ad rep didn’t make a mistake. I said I don’t see where it said the ad rep “accidentally discounted” the rate.

    Okeydoke – The Times says they undercharged for the ad – e.g. discounted the rate – which was a mistake – moron.org has decided to make them whole for the difference presumably to help them avoid legal trouble – yet Itsme doesn’t see where any accidental discounting occurred. This is sort of like how hard libs defend the reputation of Blowjob Bill against all attacks.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  71. Itsme – From Hoyt’s piece today:

    FreedomsWatch.org, a group recently formed to support the war, asked me to investigate because it said it wasn’t offered the same terms for a response ad that MoveOn.org got.

    Try again.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  72. Itsme’s logic in #47 – Pablo, I didn’t say the ad rep didn’t make a mistake. I said I don’t see where it said the ad rep “accidentally discounted” the rate.

    Kinda doubletalkey, ain’t it? Along with date specific copy that NYT supposedly thought they were running on standby for a customer that didn’t want or ask for standby…

    Yeah, if I, as a salesman, give away premium ad product for fire sale prices, no one will even question it in the normal cost of business.

    Pablo (99243e)

  73. cost = course

    Pablo (99243e)

  74. daleyrocks #70:

    Daley, you originally asked: “How do you suppose a commissioned salesperson working for a for profit company can accidentally discount an ad by $77K?”

    According to the story, the ad rep intended to give MoveOn the standby rate. It wasn’t by accident. The ad rep failed to inform MoveOn that it was a standby rate, leading MoveOn to assume that it was a guaranteed date.

    It was a mistake. Okay, sure, it was an “accident.” But not because the ad rep “accidentally discounted” the rate.

    Itsme (db44bf)

  75. daleyrocks #71:

    Itsme – From Hoyt’s piece today:

    FreedomsWatch.org, a group recently formed to support the war, asked me to investigate because it said it wasn’t offered the same terms for a response ad that MoveOn.org got.

    Try again.

    It wasn’t offered the same terms that MoveOn got because it didn’t want the ad on a standby basis.

    Now, if you can show me where a conservative group sought an ad on a standby basis, yet was quoted a higher rate, I’d be interested in seeing it.

    Itsme (db44bf)

  76. Itsme – More doubletalk from you today.

    Eli Pariser, the executive director of MoveOn.org, told me that his group called The Times on the Friday before Petraeus’s appearance on Capitol Hill and asked for a rush ad in Monday’s paper. He said The Times called back and “told us there was room Monday, and it would cost $65,000.” Pariser said there was no discussion about a standby rate.

    From your comment – It was a mistake. Okay, sure, it was an “accident.” But not because the ad rep “accidentally discounted” the rate. – It sounds like you’ve never worked in a business. Charging a lower price than you should represents giving a customer a discount. You seem to have a fundamental problem understanding that concept. Think about it a little.

    Regarding Freedomswatch.org – your response – It wasn’t offered the same terms that MoveOn got because it didn’t want the ad on a standby basis – see immediately above. Moron.org didn’t ask for a standby rate either. Your comparison is false so stop asking for it.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  77. daleyrocks #76:

    You seem to be repeating your same arguments without evidencing much understanding of what I have posted to you repeatedly.

    I said the NYT ad rep did not tell MoveOn they were getting a rate on a standby basis. It was a mistake. They admitted it. How many times do I have to repeat that to you?

    MoveOn got a standby rate. Evidently by mistake, but it was the standby rate. If anybody asks for that rate, they get it, but the ad will run on a standby basis. That was explained to Freedomswatch.

    It is exhausting going over this with you over and over again. Either you are being deliberately obtuse or … I dunno, just obtuse.

    Either way, I’m finished reasoning with you. The information is out there for readers who care to reason through it.

    Good night.

    Itsme (db44bf)

  78. Itsme – The NYT doesn’t seem to have a problem with the idea that they gave moron.org an improper discount, nor does the rest of the world. Odd that you persist in having trouble understanding it. I appreciate your martyrdom in trying to explain it. The endless doubletalk from you is amusing.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  79. Itsme,

    This Politico article asserts that “federal election law generally grants a 30-day window for refunding contributions that appear to be illegal.”

    Interesting, yes?

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  80. Well DRJ, I have yet to see a discussion of FEC requirements that isn’t just someone’s personal opinion. If and when the FEC chooses to comment, or someone comes up with an on-point FEC opinion, I’ll be willing to spend more of my time wondering about it.

    Itsme (1a8dff)

  81. Sorry for the snarky tone of my prior. You know what I mean, though. I hope.

    Itsme (1a8dff)

  82. I was not implying that because MoveOn.org paid the NY Times, that proves there was wrongdoing in this situation. My point was there may be a kind of catch-all/fix-it provision. While I find that surprising, it seems only fair given how complicated and unclear the law seems to be in this area. It’s like a “do-over” provision and I thought that was interesting.

    Are you really that competitive?

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  83. It is interesting, and I’m sorry I wasn’t more open to discussing it. I guess I just see so many thinly-veiled accusations based on pure speculation.

    I know that Paiser said they paid the money “out of an abundance of caution” but it would have been more helpful if he explained the reasoning behind it. It may have been just to shut the controversy down, to avoid looking like they were colluding with the NYT, or even heading off any complaints to the FEC, warranted or not.

    I guess my point about the FEC is that it isn’t clear to me whether their rules even apply in this case…I tend to hold off on conclusions until I know for sure.

    But yes, I guess I must be competitive, sorry. Or just pedantic?

    Itsme (1a8dff)

  84. PS, I think the logic of a “do-over” provision probably saves everybody, including the FEC, a lot of grief.

    Itsme (1a8dff)


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