September 14th, 2007
09:55 AM ET
15 years ago

Giuliani blasts NY Times for MoveOn ad

Giuliani said Clinton, MovOn.org, and the New York Times should apologize 'for what they did.'

(CNN) - MoveOn.org's New York Times ad calling into question Gen. David Petraeus' testimony before Congress drew more Republican ire Thursday - this time over the price the non-profit political advocacy group paid for the full-page ad.

The New York Post, citing MoveOn.org, reported Thursday that the organization paid $65,000 for the ad, calling it a $116,000 discount from the Times' usual $167,000 price. That prompted a pair of GOP presidential candidates to complain.

Rudy Giuliani, campaigning in Atlanta, blasted the Times and demanded that the newspaper "give us the same rate, the heavily discounted rate they gave MoveOn.org for that abominable ad."

And on Friday, the paper published the former New York City mayor's ad that defends Petraeus' record and criticizes Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, for her recent tough questioning of the general.

Newly announced candidate Fred Thompson noted in a campaign speech in Jacksonville, Fla., that the Times gave the group "a discount to make sure it (the ad) gets the widest possible circulation."

There's just one problem. The $65,000 rate is the Times' normal rate for an advocacy ad from a non-profit group, according to newspaper spokeswoman Catherine Mathis.

Mathis wouldn't disclose how much MoveOn.org paid for the ad, citing policy, and said the final cost of an advertisement in the paper depends on a number of variables. But, she said, the standard rate for a full-page, black-and-white advocacy ad would be $65,000.

The newspaper took issue with charges from some, repeated in the Post article, that the left-leaning MoveOn.org got a "family discount."

"We do not distinguish advertising rates based on the political content of the ad," the paper said in a statement. "In fact, the advertising department does not see the content of the ad before a rate is quoted."

"We believe the broad principles of freedom of the press confer on us an obligation to keep our advertising columns as open as possible," the statement continued. "In fact, there are many instances when we have published opinion advertisements that run counter to the stance we take on our own editorial pages."

MoveOn.org's ad appeared in the Times on Tuesday, the first day of Petraeus' testimony. Under the headline "General Petraeus or General Betray Us," the ad said that the top military commander in Iraq "will not admit what everyone knows: Iraq is mired in an unwinnable religious civil war." It also suggested that Petraeus' testimony was influenced by the White House.

During his testimony, Petraeus said that he had written his own remarks and that the White House had not seen them beforehand.

"To state the obvious," he said Wednesday after his testimony was complete, "I disagree with the message of those who are exercising the First Amendment right that generations of soldiers have sought to preserve for Americans. Some of it was just flat completely wrong and the rest is at least more than arguable."

- CNN Assignment Editor Alta Spells contributed to this report


Filed under: moveon.org • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. FT Doylestown,Pa.

    Clinton,Obama, The Times...They are ALL afraid of This Group.... Move On???

    The Questions we should be asking is WHY???

    If they can't stand up to This Group...How can they LEAD THIS COUNTRY??
    They all take orders from George Soros!

    He MUST HAVE A BIG BLACK BOOK ON ALL OF THEM!!!
    Very Interesting........?

    September 13, 2007 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  2. Bea, Hoboken, NJ

    I heard Giuliani on CNN with Larry King and he mentioned 9/11 repeatedly. How long is he going to milk it? He also kept attacking Hillary, the only Democrat he mentioned by name several times. I just put FOX and there he is again now yacking it up with Hannity about how terrible Hillary's comments were and yada, yada about 9/11. Whatever......

    September 13, 2007 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  3. Mark Blakeman

    Whatever happened to reporting facts and truth? There is not one place in any of the CNN blogs mentioning Ron Paul. Ron Paul is the only candidate that makes sense. Ron Paul has captured the interest of many of the young population. Not one of the Republican candidates were approached by the crowd like Ron Paul following the debate in New Hampshire. CNN...your polls are lies just like FOX. Giuliani is a sick choice to potentially lead this country. Propaganda only works so long. My vote is Ron Paul 2008!

    September 13, 2007 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  4. Steve, Cheyenne, WY

    I'm always amused when I see some Democrat claiming the Republicans "started it". "It" being the mudslinging, smear jobs and so forth.

    I recall Reagan getting smeared fairly regularly...

    And obviously, that wasn't even the first time.

    Smear tactics and various other dirty tactics are par for the course. At this point, we should expect that sort of thing from MoveOn, Moore, Coulter and the Swift Boats Vets and the rest. We shouldn't expect it from NYT or any other "news" outlet (yes, including FOX).

    September 14, 2007 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  5. Sam,IA

    a note to the republican bloggers, Me thinks thou do protest to much. The same rate would have been given to your swiftboat friends as they misstated Kerry's record and maligned his service and the same rate would have applied to Rove and his henchmen as they ran ads against McCian in 2000 claiming his mental imbalance from his years as a POW when he ran against Boy George. So which party REALLY dishonors veterans?

    September 14, 2007 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  6. Colleen Apple Valley, Ca.

    I am a Democrat and I personally found that the NY Times was biased. It made me embarrassed. No discounts, fair and equal time for all. We are not sheeple. We can make up our own minds. Don't give the GOP reason to bash the media as a "liberal" convoy.

    September 14, 2007 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  7. Bill Charleston SC

    Lis in Lawrence MA,

    You are absolutely correct that we may criticize the President, his policies, and the military leadership. And each individual decides for themself when it is justified.

    Just like I am completely justified in supporting my President, his policies and his leadership, military or otherwise.

    Sometimes the rights we possess are best exercised by restraint on our part. I personally believe the anti war movement is damaging this country and putting our soldiers and citizens at risk.

    September 14, 2007 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  8. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    Waaaaa Waaaaaaa Waaaaaa....
    I think its time to burp Rudy and Fred and put them down for their naps. They are getting a bit cranky.

    September 14, 2007 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  9. Scott Baltimore MD

    $65,000 for a full page ad in the NYTimes? That's hard to swallow.
    But even so, the price for a Political ad is $167,000. I think this ad falls under that category, as moveon.org donates heavily to Hillary, Obama, and Edwards. Also, Rudy is not criticizing the three top democrats for the ad, he's criticizing them for not taking any action against one of their largest donators when they've done something wrong.

    September 14, 2007 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  10. Ron, TX

    "I disagree with the message of those who are exercising the First Amendment right that generations of soldiers have sought to preserve for Americans. Some of it was just flat completely wrong and the rest is at least more than arguable."- R. Guliani

    Did he REALLY just say that he wants to limit the first amendment?! Hey, I guess if it serves your cause, restrict ALL of our rights! Why not? Terrorism and safety have everyone's attention...

    September 14, 2007 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  11. Sue, Midland, MI

    Petraeus would have been more credible without Bush's "surprise" visit to him days before the testimony. We are to believe that they didn't discuss the progress of the surge, nor what the General was to report? Sorry, we've seen too many lies out of this White House, and burned too many bridges. We may be a gullible people, but we are wising up fast. IMPEACH!

    September 14, 2007 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  12. Ben, Chicago IL

    Last night I heard McCain say on Fox news that basically ads like this should not be allowed. Calls for restrictions on the first amendment have also been made by Gingrich and other major politicians. I hope you people wake up to what's going on.

    September 14, 2007 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  13. JK

    This ad does not compare to the Swift Boats ad. John Kerry was a minor figure who was running for political office. The General is an acting official in direct service of his country, and he was being insulted and attacked by a political organization which, ultimately, has no real need to interact with the general. That a huge discount was offered by the NY Times proves a bias; that the ad was a childish name-calling only proves the lack of maturity of those on the left.

    September 14, 2007 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  14. Eric, Lisle IL

    The NYTimes is private property. They can charge whatever they want for their space. Giuliani, another big government republican, apparently doesn't believe in private property. Additionally, he's a big ugly baby.

    September 14, 2007 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  15. JC, Union City NJ

    Shame on MoveOn.org. Military commanders/soldiers execute missions. General Petraeus is executing a mission supported by Congress, which has members from both parties. Some voted for War when it was politically convenient. I still have not heard the plan for Terrorism if a Dem becomes president.

    September 14, 2007 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  16. Pete, Chicago, IL

    "All Republican comments should be ignored period!"

    Another liberal defense of free speech, I see.

    As for the Swift Boaters:

    1 – The "victim" of those attacks was a presidential candidate, commenter Liz says it well:

    " ... we're allowed to criticize the President, his policies, and even the military leadership of this country when we believe it's justified."

    Ignoring the fact that Kerry wasn't a current member of the military, but the theme is the same. You run for, or hold political office, everything is fair game.

    2 – Why didn't Kerry sign off on SF180 to release his military records (retracted from his campaign website, by the way) which would have stiffled the Swifties?

    Oh, well ... these comments (mine included) are a stark indication of the evaporation of decent political discourse. Those who yell the loudest, I guess, win.

    September 14, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  17. Brenda, Annapolis

    It's so frustrating that the only way for Giuliani to get any press is when he is latching onto some "scandal" and never letting it die.

    MoveOn.org had every right to print the ad as is guaranteed by the Constitution, and the New York Post had every right to run it. A candidate running for president ought to know the Bill of Rights. Not to mention, this whole thing wouldn't have gain half of the publicity it was seeking if Giuliani kept his mouth shut. Where are the issues? Giuliani should stop wasting his time attacking free speech and more time sharing with the American people his plans if elected president. Way to go Rudy–you show stopper you.

    September 14, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  18. Ryan, Provo,UT

    To Bill from IL and all others who see this as "hypocrisy", I ask where were you when swift boat was attacking Kerry? Were you defending their right to free speech? Because if not then you're a hypocrite too. My point is that the republicans don't have a monopoly on hypocrisy, its equally present on both sides of the aisle, and in all of us.

    On another note, while I'm a liberal democrat and I don't support the war at all, I thought MoveOn.org's add was disappointing. It was inflammatory, factually deficient, and it defamed the honor of a man who I beleive is simply doing a good job at carrying out bad orders. I'm all for trying to end this war, but we shouldn't have to lie or use character assassination to do it. The truth alone should be convincing enough.

    September 14, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  19. Joe Thornton Warrenton, VA.

    Whether or not moveon.org received a discount form the NY Times is irrelevant. The Times, as a privately owned newspaper, may extend discounts to whomever they choose. What is disgraceful is that an orginization that represents the left wing of the democratic party saw fit to publicly slander an honorable soldier. These are the same people who spit on returning servicemen from Viet Nam and who generally regard the military as war crimminals and fascists. I truly believe that president Bush, his incompetent noecon cronies, and the republican party in general have definitely taken us in the wrong direction. But everytime I begin to consider the democrats as an alternative they manage to remind me who they really are. Our troops will eventually come home from Iraq, and when they do it will not be to the insults, slander, lies, and moral posturing of left wing anti-americanism. This generation of soldiers will not be spit on, not if I have anything to say about it.

    September 14, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  20. Independent Voter, TN

    Most of the commenters are missing the basic point of the story. Is the NYT giving preferential treatment to this organization and does that cross the line of the third estate?

    September 14, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  21. Jeff, Houston, Texas

    On this, I must disagree with MoveON, an organization I usually support in very strong terms.

    The general is in a frighteneing position. Look at his boss. Look at who he has to answer to, then consider his need to balance his loyalty to a uniform, to a commander, and to the constitution. this man has been placed in an extremely awkward position.

    I rank him as being used an abused just as Colin Powell was abused, and they are both honorable men.

    MoveOn, you went to far this time. Aim your attack at the truly diseased individuals of this administration, not the General.

    September 14, 2007 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  22. keebs, atlanta, ga

    Posters are correct, people have the right to say what they want under our constitution. Also, people have the right to say moveon.org went way over the top with the criticism of General Petraeus (and Hillary calling him a lier). Now, the American people need to analyze what candidate qualifies to be President 2008.

    September 14, 2007 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  23. Chester, Alexandria, LA

    Two clarifications from the article:

    1. The general disagrees with the message not their right to spread it.

    2. Giuliani, et al., disagree with the seeming discount rate not the fact they ran the ad.

    Disagreement is fine, lack of reading comprehension is not.

    September 14, 2007 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  24. Bernie, Cincinnati, OH

    At first I thought the MoveOn ad was premature, and therefore inappropriate. However, after hearing his testimony it's abundantly clear that Petraeus (the supposedly intelligent, ambitious and independently-minded general) is simply acting as a mouthpiece to prop up the Administration's viewpoint. In other words, he's just ambitious. Shame on him. I now agree with the ad and support it.

    September 14, 2007 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  25. therealist

    Only fools believe that The New York Times still provides an unbias news source..

    September 14, 2007 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
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