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

Giuliani blasts NY Times for MoveOn ad

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

(CNN) -'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, 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 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 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 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."'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: • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. Steve, Arcata California

    Why is this biased reporting?

    The article failed to mention that the ad rate that MoveOn paid to the New York Times was the standard rate for a non-profit and/or a charitable organization. Every private organization has the right to choose who gets these rates. Do all you complainers really believe that the right-leaning mega-corporate-owned organizations don't discount ads for views that reflect their own? How about all of the right-wing media that refused to even accept ads for liberal-viewpoint pieces during the last election? How about banning the Dixie Chicks – you all thought that was ok, right?

    For those that disagree with the ad, have you tried reading the actual fact-based arguments presented by MoveOn? Have you read the analysis that was created by independent non-partisan groups on the progress in Iraq (of which there are links so you can read and decide for yourself)? Or, do you believe that the only study that is truthful is one created by the administration's hand-picked mouth-piece?

    Part of being a real patriot in the sense of our founding fathers is to educate yourself, and think critically about what is really going on in the world. Blind loyalty to any party only makes you appear foolish.

    Ask questions. Educate yourself.

    September 14, 2007 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  2. RightyTighty

    I wonder if Hillary and Obama are getting the same "family discount" as

    September 14, 2007 10:44 am at 10:44 am |

    I can't believe - I mean - I mean still exists. They couldn't buy a viable candidate if their lives depended on it. haaaa

    September 14, 2007 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  4. Chris, Orlando, FL

    None of you know if Hillary was involved in the MoveOn.Org ad.

    Gen. Petraeus is an honorable man and I believe he is doing the best he can in a difficult situation.

    The fact that Hillary did not criticize the ad attack on Gen. Petraeus speaks volumes to me about her integrity. At least Kerry called the ad inappropraite.

    In my opinion, this is just another example why she will never be Commander in Chief.

    September 14, 2007 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  5. J.B., Massachusetts

    Not one of the Democrats running for President has demanded that formally apologize. Any candidate who has any respect for the military would refuse any financial aid from until such an apology has been made.

    September 14, 2007 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  6. CL, Washington, DC

    Giuliani is just angry because he can't negotiate(a good price in this case)....this makes me wonder how he's going to negotiate with other leaders if he's elected President. It's going to be G.W.Bush Part II.

    September 14, 2007 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  7. MM, Philadelphia PA

    Wow what a balanced forum. Cmon people take a step back look at the whole picture before you characterize these "Republicans"! If the right leaning NY Post ran a full pager trashing the Red Cross prior to a report on the humanitarian situation in Iraq...the Dems would to the EXACT SAME THING! This has nothing to do with Rudy et al, it's the process. Don't act like "your side" is somehow above the fray.

    Puking at that notion as I type.

    September 14, 2007 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  8. Len, sparks nv

    I don't understand how the Republicans think they can support Bush and the Iraq war and win the general election. What will they do? Flip flop once they have the nomination?

    September 14, 2007 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  9. Christopher Benton, Brooklyn, NY

    Seems to me that Guiliani would rather whine about ad rates than comment on David Petraeus' testimony and the implications that will have on our troops. He's avoiding the issue once again.

    September 14, 2007 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  10. Sarah - Oxford, MS

    I wish CNN's ticker would tell the whole story, like how Guiliani's "challenge ad" was given the same lower rate as MoveOn because that's the standard Times rate for a "standby" ad. The rates which were reported by the New York Post were for a more expensive service than what MoveOn (and Guiliani) received.

    Neither MoveOn nor Guiliani seem to have actually received a "discount."

    Why is this even news, other than politicos wanting to snipe at each other in ever more juvenile ways?

    September 14, 2007 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  11. Veronica, Stamford, CT

    Gee, Rudy, where were you when the Swift-boaters came around? Where was your outrage then Rudy? Oh, that's right ... it wasn't POLITICALLY FEASIBLE for you ... silly me! And Rudy, it appears you've purposely left one MINOR detail ... NONE OF THE DEM CANDIDATES HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH THIS AD! Tuck your sword back into your pants Rudy, it's not big enough to win against FREE SPEECH.

    Once again, the odorous stench of GOP hypocrisy permeates the air ... REFRESHING!

    September 14, 2007 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  12. Jessica Mitchell Hood River, Oregon

    I love least there is one organization out there willing to risk it all to get the truth out there!

    September 14, 2007 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  13. Chris

    I don't like G myself, but it is a shame if newspapers are giving their political viewpoints cheaper rates. That should be a crime really. It doesn't matter what you advertise, if you are going to screw over certain groups, that's discrimination baby.

    September 14, 2007 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  14. TBONE

    Democrats are the biggest idiots on the planet. Grow up and realize that big and small business runs this country. Without them, we're nothing. Without them, you have no job and therefore no money. So go ahead and support your hand-holding, heavy government spending, taxation happy, welfare programs that don't work, socialist thinking DEMOCRATIC presidential candidates and see where it gets you. NOWHERE!

    September 14, 2007 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  15. George

    If I'm Clinton's campaign, I'm thanking my lucky stars and laughing all the way to the bank with way more than the 800k plus they lost in the Hsu scandal. It gives her more street cred with the MO and Kos people, won't cost her a VOTE in NYC, (Though maybe some elsewhere in the state, maybe not.) while attracting even more of the anti-war vote. It is a total win for her. The question is, why? Why would Rudy latch on to this almost non-issue, to take a hard stand?

    He needs her HELP! He needs her as a foil he can attack to try to recapture the the supporters he's hemorrhaging to Fred, strengthen his street cred with the republican base, (and they hate Hillary even more than the people here) and taint her with the military, if he winds up running against her.
    It's a bold,and in other ways a panic move, an attempt at a big lie that is like going for broke, as if he knows that the way Fred is trending, he could soon be third or FOURTH in the polls. Rudy is a front-runner, in more ways than one; If he falls behind Thompson (and it looks like he will) and feels that he isn't going to win, he could surprise everyone and drop out FAST. This could be his , "let it all hang out", round and if he doesn't score the knockout, he may quit on his stool.
    He has to know that in the short run, he is much more certain of helping Hillary with this ad than he is himself, so this is in many ways also a tactical, long-range move. If the national publicity the ad is sure to garner helps him regain and maintain his lead and go on to win the republican nomination, he has set himself up for how he wants to run against ANY democrat, that he is strong and will protect you and the democrat won't.
    My guy Edwards and Obama are both seen as easy to campaign against on the security issue (It's the only issue the republicans are still trusted on) for Rudy, but Clinton has been able to stake out some gravitas, in part because of being on the Armed Services Committee , so the ad sets him up to, "define", her as being anti-military.
    If it works, he wins the nomination and has a perceived soft-spot to attack (If Clinton is his opponent). If it helps her, but he continues to deflate, he'll be like Wile E. Coyote, falling into the canyon with a bomb in his hand as the Road-Runner zips past, unharmed, "Beep-Beep", Rudy.

    September 14, 2007 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  16. Ally, CO

    Open rate is a one-time ad rate. other rates depend on the frequency of the ad. pretty much every newspaper has community rates that are given to non-profits.

    September 14, 2007 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  17. Pixie , Fl NJ

    This man is the slime that wants to be president. When he was the mayor of NYC he did such great things? He arrested homeless people for being homeless! He destroyed the schools. He was so frightening to his children that they called 911 during a fight between him and his former wife. SHE had him thrown out of Gracey Mansion because of it. He made comments about her like... she was not going to leave after he was out of office. THIS IS THE MOTHER IF HIS CHILDREN! This man will do worse than Bish has. He is a tyrant. He does not allow free speech and fired teachers for voicing their opinions. He is a monster in my eyes. I will never vote for him... Hillary on the other hand is a decent human being. She has flaws. But, she is decent. He is not.

    September 14, 2007 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  18. Mike, Holland, MI

    I'll take the word of a successful Mayor/US Attorney or highly decorated General before that of some inexperienced opportunist that is riding her husband's coattails.

    September 14, 2007 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  19. Jim, NYC, NY


    You get free advertising on all the Murdoch publications, Washington Times, NY Post, Fox and all it's affiliates. Except for this soundbite moment – there is no "unfair" discount for an ad that is more "news" and truth than anything you'll find on the above mentioned publications that support the RNC right-wing PNAC agenda. I used to like you – you've become a "pod" person to the PNAC and a danger to not just NY, but America.

    September 14, 2007 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  20. Rob

    Why are Republicans fishing so hard for a cause to rally behind. This shows they are desperate and weak!

    September 14, 2007 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  21. John R, San Francisco CA

    George W. Bush is great. The war is wonderful. is horrible. We need to return to basic morality. I would write more, but I have a prostitute here waiting to put my diapers on.

    September 14, 2007 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  22. Brian, Marietta GA

    As usual, the Repubs get their numbers and facts wrong- is anyone surprised? I don't believe a thing that party or the Bush administration tells me.

    September 14, 2007 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  23. Robert, Miami, FL

    Some have brought up "freedom of speech". Just FYI, paid advertising does not come under the constitutional protection of freedom of speech.

    In any case, in the 'free market of ideas", all political statements are fair game to be challenged. Balanced and unemotional statements tend to "survive" challenge but in the current climate are more often ignored. Balanced dialogue does not move people in the same way as divisive and one-sided statements. Move On is doing what they all do in exploiting the known human weakness for inflammatory tactics.

    September 14, 2007 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  24. not_another_clinton

    Its funny how a lot the liberals out there making comments on this article try to defend freedom of speech. But you will be the first to spout off when someone makes a negative comment about your precious Hillary.

    September 14, 2007 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  25. J0shLe0

    Maybe Giuliani should get Rupert Murdoch to re-establish Pravda, they could call it Fox News Light, and then he could totally control all of the advertisements. Problem solved.

    September 14, 2007 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
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