Hello, New York Times, have you met the petard? The NY Times' ombudsman declares that the newspaper violated its own policies to publish MoveOn's attack ad on General David Patraeus:
Did MoveOn.org get favored treatment from The Times? And was the ad outside the bounds of acceptable political discourse?The New York Times justifies their actions by mouthing about the "tough choices" they must make but these choices consistently find favor on one side of the political spectrum and not the other. Watch that stock hit a five-year low.
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.
Extra - More details from Althouse.