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Friday, November 9, 2012
Tim Graham's Faulty Analogy On Political Newspaper Ads
Topic: NewsBusters

Tim Graham writes in a Nov. 4 NewsBusters post:

In 2007, when The New York Times granted a special discount it wasn't entitled to so they could slam David Petraeus in a full-page ad as "General Betray Us," NPR reported on the ad, but never on the Times cut-rate controversy.

But NPR is sometimes very sensitive about the "independence" of media outlets -- when it seems compromised by Republicans. On Tuesday's All Things Considered, they granted air time to KUOW reporter Sara Lerner in Washington state to discuss how the Seattle Times outrageously used their own free ad space for an favoring the Republican running for governor, and how 100 of the paper's journalists were protesting[.]

This is a faulty comparison -- the two situations are nothing alike.

The Washington Post reported that there was no "special discount" to MoveOn for the 2007 ad; the Times mistakenly charged MoveOn a lower "standby" rate, $65,000, instead of the standard rate of $142,000. MoveOn said it had no reason to believe it was paying "anything other than the normal and usual charge" and would pay the difference.

Still, that's $65,000 (or $142,000) more than was paid to the Seattle Times for the full-page ads by the Republican gubernatorial candidate and a second ad opposing a same-sex marriage referendum. Graham provides no evidence that either the candidate or anti-marriage-equality forces have offered to reimburse the paper for these ads.

Only an right-wing anti-media obsessive like Graham could fail to see the difference between the two.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:05 AM EST

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