Apparently, the Wingnut-o-sphere is livid that the New York Times might have given moveon.org a discounted price on their full-page "General Betray Us?" ad, thereby making a complete mockery of the concept of the unfettered, unregulated free market, the fundamental notion of supply and demand, and the unimpeachable freedom for people to negotiate ruthlessly for the best possible price.
I'm sorry -- I had all this pent-up sarcasm and nowhere to put it.
AFTERSNARK: As RT points out, John Cole is all over this non-story like a Republican on a cheap hooker.
BAIT-AND-SWITCH, UNCLE JIMBO STYLE: Over at BlackFive, one Uncle Jimbo seems to be playing fast and loose with FEC regulations:
Office of General Counsel
Federal Election Commission
999 E Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20463
It has been reported that MoveOn paid $65,000 for the ad ...
The rate card price of such an ad on the NY Times political advocacy rate card is $181,692.
I sold political advertising for Capital Newspapers in Madison, WI during the 2006 elections. We were informed that there could be absolutely no discounts to the rate card prices for political or advocacy advertising based on federal law. The reason was self-evidently to stop the paper from favoring one viewpoint over another. It seems evident that if the reports are true, the NY Times has favored MoveOn by offering a huge discount to them for political advocacy advertising.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Uncle Jimbo seems to be deliberately mixing his terminology. It would make sense if one were not allowed to play favourites with actual political advertising -- that would, of course, be only fair. But note how Uncle Jimbo quietly expands that entire classification by referring to "political or advocacy advertising" (emphasis added). Really? Do the same FEC rules actually apply to simple advocacy advertising (since MoveOn is, in fact, a registered 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization). That would be a bit odd, don't you think?
And Uncle Dumbo gets even confusinger by first referring to "political or advocacy advertising," then later delicately morphing that into "political advocacy advertising," as if it's all one and the same after all. In any event, there's nothing to suggest that the Times did anything wrong here, but it's amusing to watch how hard the wingnuts have to spin this to invent a controversy where none appears to exist.
P.S. Do I really need to ask how many of these hysterical dingbats will offer up the appropriate correction and retraction once it turns out that this was all perfectly aboveboard?
Yeah, and pigs will fly out of my butt.