September 14, 2007

A morning coffeehouse.

I'm in the Wisconsin Public Radio studios, waiting to go on the Week In Review show (as mentioned here). So don't expect much blogging from me in the next hour. If you want more Althouse, listen to the live stream of the show that begins in about 15 minutes, but if you want a place to converse with Althouse readers, please use this post.


Simon said...

I may call in today, I have a question in mind. :) depends on how busy it is with folks denouncing last night's address.;)

Ann Althouse said...

cool! you should!

Simon said...

Give you a reprieve from the anti-war craies, huh? ;)

Simon said...

Ack. Sorry, Ann, I tried to get through for about 20 minutes and held for another 15, but they didn't put me through. It's the thought that counts, right? ;)

hdhouse said...

I know simon...i tried and tried and when i got through they said i was now "off topic" ever.

hdhouse said...

actually thought it was a very good discussion on both sides. the x attorney general is good in that forum as is ann. i enjoyed the listen.

Simon said...

Well, I was definitely off-topic. ;) I wanted to be polite, so I waited until it looked like they'd gotten the Bush speech out of their system and moved onto other topics, but that might have been a mistake, LOL.

I was going to ask about Kennedy v. Louisiana, in which the defendant just petitioned for cert earlier this week - whether Ann and Peg thought the Supreme Court should take the case and what they should do with it. The very short version of the story (I wrote at more length about it a few months ago when LASC decided the case) is that when the Supreme Court struck down the death penalty for rape in Coker, the opinion referred several times to the "rape of an adult woman," but I think it can be shown that at least eight justices (including White, who wrote it) believed it struck down the death penalty for rape, period, including for non-adults and non-women. Either way, in the mid-1990s, Louisiana decided that it was going to make the death penalty available for child rape (this oversimplifies the statute somewhat, but that's the gist of it), and as a result, it now has a guy, Kennedy, on death row for a non-homicide crime. He's asking the Supreme Court to throw out his sentence; obviously if Coker forbids the death penalty for rape, period, Kennedy wins without making any new rules of law, while if Coker is read to forbid only the death penalty for the rape of an adult woman, Kennedy - whose victim was under 12, the facts of the case are just heartbreaking - needs the court to break new ground.

Simon said...

(I should add that my own view is that the court can't distinguish Coker in any meaningful way, and should grasp the nettle by overruling that case, but I don't expect the Roberts court to take that step.)

hdhouse said...

my question was based on the urban legend of move-on getting a special discount from the nytimes for the ad.

the surface point is that move-on paid $72,000 net for the page (about $84,000 gross) well within the negotiation parameters...

the underlying point is that Rudy can put out a sound bite about it knowing full well it is a canard and someone piped up with $100,000 below rate, an equal red-herring and the "fact" is born and since it is the NYT and move-on, both hated institutions, away it goes.

my question was then, since fact has very little to do with perceptions and opinions, and given that Mr. Bush has hovered around 32% approvals for a few years now, is fact, in fact, a distraction and no longer important?

Simon said...

That wouldn't have been off-topic, they talked about the ad and Giuliani's riposte. I hadn't heard that there was a counterargument against the story about the NYT discounting for MoveOn, but I suppose that if they take Giuliani's commercial, they'll exonerate themselves by implying that even if MoveOn paid less than one might expect, it wasn't because the NYT gave them special treatment.

hdhouse said...

or it could be that they will charge Rudy more for posting on the fiction page

Simon said...


AlphaLiberal said...

Did Ann freak out o any cheesey threats this morning?

Maxine Weiss said...,0,1332459.story?coll=la-home-center

EnigmatiCore said...

"or it could be that they will charge Rudy more for posting on the fiction page"

I have never heard the front section of the New York Times so aptly described. Well done.

It is only a half-myth. The discount exists, but for all advocacy ads that are 'standby' (meaning, could get bumped if the Times can sell the space at full price). The problem is that reporters were all well aware days before that the ad was going to run on a particular day, which is something that could not have been known with certainty had the ad really been 'standby'.

Of course, given the financial condition of the NYT, it was probably safe for everyone to conclude that the 'standby' ads were going to run. But that's a completely different issue.

Anyhow, Rudy said that he should get the same rate for his ad. He got his ad. That should end it. If GOP candidates from this point forward squawk about a discount, then they deserve to be called on it. However, bringing it up the last few days seems perfectly fair to me. It is very odd that they got the standby rate with the date certainty that isn't associated with standby ads.

Maxine Weiss said...

The Negro is always the "fall guy"....

Scapegoat. Very clever of those OC Neocons. Good strategy--

Let the Negro take the hit:,1,2381454.story?coll=la-news-a_section

Theo Boehm said...

EnigmaticCore: Thank you. That was an excellent piece of information, simply and clearly explained.

Maxine: Surely you must have something else to do on such a nice day. Putting up barmey remarks is such a waste of time.
Say, were you possibly a victim of a stray stealth prefrontal lobotomy when they were testing them back in the '70's?
We may have an explanation here, folks.

hdhouse said...

theo boehm...

yet incorrect. standbye doesn't exist in print at the times for full page ads. nice try. it was purchased, scheduled and ran. end of story.

Maxine Weiss said...

Ooops---shouldn't have brought up the fact the Drake is black. Act like it doesn't exist....

....even though the LA Times arrogantly posts a photo of Drake in all his smug "Black-ness", for all the world to see.

Blame the Negro.

Theo Boehm said...

Well, it seemed that the "standby" issue was about the only thing left to this story. And, as EnigmatiCore says, it wasn't a big deal in the end.

However, I'm still left wondering. EnigmatiCore says one thing and hdhouse says another. You both seem knowledgeable. Could someone please clear this up?

Looks like an example here of how hard it is to get all the bits and pieces of a news story truly nailed down.

And thanks, seriously.

EnigmatiCore said...

"standbye doesn't exist in print at the times for full page ads"

Asserted, without citation, and also without accuracy.

From New York Times reporter Katharine Q. Seelye in a Boston Globe article from the New York Times News Service, quoting Catherine Mathis (a "spokeswoman for the Times"):

"She also said that the paper cannot disclose what it charges for individual ads. But she did say the paper's "standby rate," which is for advertisers who request a particular day and placement but are not guaranteed it, was $64,575 for a full-page, black-and-white ad on Monday in the A section."

But who are you going to believe? hdhouse, or the New York Times? I know the latter has some credibility issues at times, but on this one I will believe them about their own ad rates.

EnigmatiCore said...

"The Giuliani campaign asked for the same rate as MoveOn, and we said you'd have to go standby," she said. She said the advertising department told the campaign the ad would run in today's A section."

Simon said...

EnigmatiCore, IIRC, hdhouse works in marketing in New York, and has presumably thus placed ads in the NYT - so in this case, I think he has at least as much credibility on the point than does the NYT.

EnigmatiCore said...

I don't know. When I see a spokeperson for the Times telling a Times reporter, in an article in a paper owned by the Times, about the rates for a full-page Section-A standby ad, I tend to think that such a thing exists even when something different is asserted by someone else on the internet.

But that's just me. Your mileage may vary.

hdhouse said...

standby is accepted at a few papers around the nation. its counterpart is "airplane" in buy your ticket but you have no idea where it is going to land (run).

Standby is remnant space...for example a 1/8th page "hole" usually as a result of a cancellation or ad that missed the copy deadline. The idea that a paper with the circ the size of the daily NYT having a full page at the very very last minute is just not happening. I've been buying space in the NYT for 12 years and have never seen it for a full page.....but more than anything, you can bid for space at any rate you want so that could be the confusion but if you buy a particular page to run on a date certain you pay for it.

I have several friends at the NYT in the sales department and although they cannot ethically confirm a price, the Move-on guy said on Matthews the other day that the cost was $72,000 (net cost - $84,000 gross) and that is within the rate structure, (for multi page purchases within the year). (free republic quotes the net at 65000 and that is the genisus of the standby rate story where a spokesperson for the times mentioned multi insertion orders and standby as ways to reduce from the rate card.

EnigmatiCore said...


You are blowing right past what a Times reporter mentioned as coming from a Times spokewoman, in an article published in a Times-owned paper via the Times News Service:

"She also said that the paper cannot disclose what it charges for individual ads. But she did say the paper's "standby rate," which is for advertisers who request a particular day and placement but are not guaranteed it, was $64,575 for a full-page, black-and-white ad on Monday in the A section."

Standby rate, check. Print edition, check. Section A, check. What the price for such a thing, which you claimed does not exist, normally is (which does not mean that is what any particular client paid) as being around $65K, check.

Not Free Republic, but rather from the Times, by the Times, in a Times paper.

But maybe your friends know better. We should listen to them.

Simon said...

EnigmatiCore, I think that as a general principle, assertions made by the New York Times ought to be subject to skepticism, a fortiori when they have skin in the game. HDhouse has no vested interest that I know of in presenting a false picture, while the NYT certainly does.

Justin said...

hdhouse said...

the cost was $72,000 (net cost - $84,000 gross)

What is this net/gross cost you keep referring to? I've never purchased ad space, so I'm not familiar with this.

EnigmatiCore said...

Simon, that's just nuts.

The facts as the Times reports them does not make them look bad. However, the facts as the Times presents them shows that the claims being made by the critics of the Times were not just made up.

Hdhouse's claims, however, make it sound like the Times critics, by saying the same thing the Times was saying about itself, were lying.

You say the Times has a vested interest in painting a false picture. What am I missing, here. How is it somehow 'worse' for the NYTimes for there to be no such thing as full-page "standby" print edition ads? How is it better for them for there to be discounted "standby" ad rates? It seems to me that the Times was admitting that the original assertions, while not 100% correct, had some basis in fact while hdhouse is claiming they never did have any basis in fact.

They would lie because they have a vested interest in protecting their critics? I don't see it.

EnigmatiCore said...

The facts are pretty clear.

MoveOn got a discounted ad. The discount was not because they were MoveOn, or because the Times agreed with the content of the ad. They got a discounted rate because it wasn't guaranteed to run on the requested date.

Fred Thompson gave a stump speech, misleadingly saying that the discount was made because it was MoveOn and/or the Times agreed with the ad.

Giuliani made his own ad, supporting the General and taking a swipe at Hillary, and asked for the same discount that MoveOn got.

The Times gave him the rate they say is normal for a standby, full page, print ad.

The ad ran, which pretty much means that he got the same discount that MoveOn got. This means if he tries to claim that they got preferential treatment now, he would be lying.

This isn't terribly complicated.

Chip Ahoy said...

The thing that was so offensive about the ad is that it was so uckingfay upidstay. Making fun of a guy's last name? I mean, come ooooooooon.

Maxine Weiss said...


UCI is supposed to take instruction from the NYT about personnel matters--

And, future law students, and future faculty, everywhere, should now take orders from them about where to apply.

That'll be the day!

Chip Ahoy said...

Although 2 points for appositeness.

EnigmatiCore said...

I cannot resist piling on.

"I have several friends at the NYT in the sales department and although they cannot ethically confirm a price, the Move-on guy said on Matthews the other day that the cost was $72,000 (net cost - $84,000 gross) and that is within the rate structure, (for multi page purchases within the year). (free republic quotes the net at 65000 and that is the genisus of the standby rate story"

Actually, I am guessing the genisus (sic) might not be Free Republic but might instead be
>MoveOn and Jake Tapper
: "MoveOn told ABC's Jake Tapper that the group paid $65,000 for a Sept. 10 ad accusing General David Petraeus of "cooking the books for the White House" in his status reports on Iraq. The Times rate card implies that weekday, full-page, black-and-white cause, appeal or political ads cost $181,692."

So we can believe the New York Times, MoveOn, ABC, Advertising Age, and, I guess, Free Republic (although I haven't read over there, so I cannot say beyond hdhouse's assertion what they have been saying).

Or we can believe hdhouse, quoting some anonymous friends and his recollection of what some guy said on Chris Matthews' show.

The Advertising Age article also includes this paragraph:

"But at the end of the week, when his campaign took out an ad in the Times advocating the opposite point of view, Giuliani paid the going rate for a full-page standby ad in the Times: $65,000."

I think that my interpretation of what happened, how and why stands up to the facts as reported pretty well.

I do recommend that anyone still trying to figure out who was right in this little coffeehouse dustup read both the NYT/Boston Globe article I linked to in a previous comment, and the Advertising Age article I linked to in this one. As I said above, this isn't all that complicated.

And, Simon, when you said that the NYT had a vested interest, don't forget that hdhouse has a vested interest in tearing down Republicans. If he could turn whatever they are talking about now into a myth and a lie, then that's what he's going to try to do. That's his motivation. You might even call it a vested interest.