NYT: No ”Family Discount” For MoveOn.Org

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It was a celebrated remark calculated to rasp the Progressive side of the aisle. A Republican aide told The New York Post that The New York Times gave MoveOn.org ”the family discount” fopr their incendiary ad questioning General Petraeus’ loyalties. As clever as that bon mot sounded in print, it is false.

Considering the amount of press — positive and negative — garnered from the full-page MoveOn.org ad that ran in The New York Times on September 10, the online progressive organization probably got the best newspaper ad discount ever.

Charles Hurt of The New York Post got a confirmation from MoveOn.org that they received a $116,000 discount from The Times. In Hurt’s article, Abbe Serphos, director of public relations for the Times, declined to give a reason for the discount. After intense blog buzz, the Times is issuing an explanation. From Claudia Parsons of Reuters:

”Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis denied the rate charged indicated a political bias and said it was the paper’s policy not to disclose the rate paid by any advertiser.

”’We do not distinguish the advertising rates based on the political content of the ad,’ Mathis told Reuters.

”’The advertising folks did not see the content of the ad before the rate was quoted,’ she said, adding that there were over 30 different categories of ads with varying rates.”

The chances, however, of this news quieting the already inflamed blogosphere chatter is no percentage.