Comments: A Matter of Honor: Advertisers Respond

I'll believe they're serious when they actually pull their advertising. Mixed signals from a corporate PR department after something like this, wouldn't exactly be unprecedented.

Posted by McGehee at November 7, 2007 08:10 AM

Word Jumble Puzzle for Today:

digging - hole - in - when - find - a - yourself - you - stop.

Geez! Is anyone over there in charge?

Posted by Chuck at November 7, 2007 08:14 AM

It's really very simple. Through their "Bagdad Diarist" - the husband of one of their so-called fact-checkers - they falsely American soldiers in a time of war, and when caught, refused even to acknowledge that it was false, let alone apologize.
Who could financially support, by subscription or advertisement, such a bunch of creeps?

Posted by Jim O'Sulivan at November 7, 2007 08:17 AM


Keep up the good work, Confederate Yankee.

As Corvan wrote on Winds of Change.net.

"Isn't it sort of disappointing that one has to spend this much time telling journalists, and journalist's most ardent supporters, why it is important that journalists don't lie?"

And journalists wonder why people hate them.

Posted by Looking Glass at November 7, 2007 08:36 AM

I may be a cynic, but I'd bet that BP ends up with a nicely reduced advertising rate.

Posted by Tucson Tarheel at November 7, 2007 08:46 AM
I may be a cynic, but I'd bet that BP ends up with a nicely reduced advertising rate.

Posted by: Tucson Tarheel at November 7, 2007 08:46 AM

Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

Posted by Ralph Gizzip at November 7, 2007 09:01 AM

Contrast the speed of response to the Dog the Bounty Hunter incident by the network, versus this by the corporations involved with TNR.

Posted by SWO at November 7, 2007 09:05 AM

Dog the Bounty Hunter was skewered when a private conversation was flagged and hustled by MSM. It's the latest holier than thou pseudo-scandal beloved of both print and electronic media, and in my opinion, simply isn't fair. Nor is it likely to portray the truth of the matter. ANd it *really* is none of our business. Is it?

Further, Dog is one of (if not the) highest rated shows on Bravo. I fully anticipate he will grovel and apologize, Bravo will consider the circumstances until another holier-than-thou media scanal erupts, and then he'll be reinstated.

Posted by Nancy Gee at November 7, 2007 09:21 AM

Dog the Bounty Hunter is on A&E, not Bravo.

Your point still holds true.

Posted by timekeeper at November 7, 2007 09:25 AM

This post read like a news story. Ironic, since I would never have found it published in a newspaper.

Posted by Cover Me, Porkins at November 7, 2007 09:55 AM

"falsely America" should be "falsly defame American. Just once before I die, I hope to leave a comment without a typo.

Posted by Jim O'Sullivan at November 7, 2007 09:55 AM
Kathy Leech, Director of Brand Communications for BP, stated via email that "We are very aware of the allegations against the New Republic and are reviewing the situation prior to making a decision about our advertising."

Translation: "We're gonna sit on it and not do anything until it blows over. Now please go away and stop stirring it so it will blow over."

Posted by C-C-G at November 7, 2007 09:59 AM

Well, there's always the reasoning that a successful advertising campaign gets to most all of your customers and potential customers, and as such a campaign has to advertise in a variety of places to get as full a coverage as possible. So the TNR advertising gets at a particular customer segment -- the pseudo-intellectual anti-American echo chamber -- and if it does so at a better price than its pseudo-intellectual anti-American echo-chamber competitors then BP will continue to advertise there...

Posted by cathyf at November 7, 2007 10:40 AM

Is BP British Petroleum? Pretty amusing if it is since it would mean that TNR is published with evil oil money.

Posted by Becky at November 7, 2007 10:51 AM

Obviously there's some sort of personal connection or some kind of close relationship between TNR and BP to begin with. Why in the world would BP advertise in TNR with a circulation of, what, 2,400? Don't all of their readers hate big oil anyway? That can't be a good use of advertising dollars, no matter how cheap it is or how much you have to spend.

Posted by Epphan at November 7, 2007 10:54 AM
Kathy Leech, Director of Brand Communications for BP, stated via email that "We are very aware of the allegations against the New Republic and are reviewing the situation prior to making a decision about our advertising."

Excellent. One advertiser has made it publicly known that they are very aware. If the advertisers were not aware of TNR's gross mishandling of this mess before, they certainly are now. The message is indeed getting through.

Memo to TNR/CanWest: These big waves of bad news will just keep on coming. We who support the troops will NOT let this matter die until it is dealt with properly, in a manner that rebukes TNR's defective editorial control and subsequent poor judgments made by the decision makers at TNR.

Posted by Justacanuck at November 7, 2007 11:08 AM

On October 31st, 2007 the publisher of TNR stated:

You will have a complete response soon.

[..]

Please be assured that we share your interest in transparency and in clarifying TNR's position as soon as possible.

Once we publish the final findings of our investigation, we hope that your confidence in The New Republic will be fully restored.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Sheldon
Publisher

Tick tock Elizabeth. Your statement on this disgrace is now a week old.

As to having my 'confidence in The New Republic fully restored', I highly doubt that. But hey, don't let the opinion of a non-subscriber stop you in your effort to amaze us all.

Posted by Justacanuck at November 7, 2007 11:23 AM

"Is BP British Petroleum? Pretty amusing if it is since it would mean that TNR is published with evil oil money."

Actually, that's "Beyond Petroleum" to you, buddy...

And therein lies why they think they can appeal to the anti-bigOil types; see, they're not like all those other big oil companies!

Posted by vic at November 7, 2007 11:44 AM

BP is easy to avoid. They have the most expensive gas everywhere.

Next?

Posted by andy at November 7, 2007 12:44 PM

It's scandalous, but, alas, it's not a scandal if no one cares. Evidently, and sadly, pretty much no one cares.

Posted by Ron Coleman at November 7, 2007 12:48 PM

The Beauchamp debacle was just one more example of the liberal MSM.
ooops wait a minute THR has a circulation of how many ?? well really then who care what they write except for right wing blogs

Posted by John Ryan at November 7, 2007 01:13 PM
"falsely America" should be "falsly defame American. Just once before I die, I hope to leave a comment without a typo. Posted by: Jim O'Sullivan at November 7, 2007 09:55 AM

So, if I keep the typoz comming, does that meen I'll life forevcer?

otpu

Posted by otpu at November 7, 2007 02:12 PM

I've thrown this out there before, but what if everything about this story turns out to be true (other than the stationed in Kuwait / Iraq detail)?

What if Beauchamp and his platoon mates simply cannot confirm any of this on the record because it will lead to disciplinary action? What if they're out in two years and write a book saying it *did* happen, and they swear by it?

Don't overplay your hand...

Posted by John at November 7, 2007 03:32 PM

Dude, you got the brushoff. They told you -- rather impolitely, as anyone capable of reading between the lines could see -- that they're sick of hearing from you, don't care and will do what they please. Your failure to see that is: A) hilarious and B) sadly symbolic of the typical failure to see reality inherent in all these wild goose chases you people run.

Posted by Alex at November 7, 2007 03:47 PM

Well, John, if all the stuff was true, then those guys will be rich beyond the dreams of avarice. Because if it's all true then that will mean that they know how to manipulate the laws of physics to be different in some magical force field around them.

Posted by cathyf at November 7, 2007 04:15 PM

Actually Alex, those were excerpts from just two of four emails Mrs. Leech sent me during the course of our conversation. She was very prompt in replying, and quite polite, in each one.

John, these stories simply are not true.

There were civilian contractors that were at the base in Kuwait, a base that thousands of soldiers passed through. Somehow, not a soul has come out saying they have seen this burned woman. I've had several conversations with one of the civilians, both while he was in Kuwait, and when he was stateside. She simply does not exist.

Likewise, there are retired Bradley commanders and drivers and the manufacturer's representative that claim that Bradley IFV's simply cannot move the way the author claims, and the physics of the vehicle bears their counterclaims. We also know that Beauchamp made serious factual errors in both of his previous stories as well, at least on of which I am capable of testifying against as nominal firearms expert in my own right.

And most seriously, there were well over four dozen people interviewed in the course of this investigation. The most any of them would face even if Beauchamp's claims had been true were administrative punishments; nothing serious. If they lied on sworn statements, they would face a court martial.

For Beauchamp's story to be true and the investigation to be false, that would mean every single soldier who signed a sworn statement told the exact same lie, a felony, to cover for a soldier many of them did not like before this incident, and certainly do not like now. That is highly unlikely.

You also forget the fact that if they change their story (and the facts indicate there is nothing to change) after they depart the military, they would be subject to being recalled to duty to stand trial for a court martial if they lied, as these events occurred while they were in uniform.

You can enjoy hoping that the story will vindicate Beauchamp and TNR if you would like, but that is only fantasy.

Sorry.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at November 7, 2007 04:26 PM

Bob, this is kind of on & off topic at the same time, but did you see this?

http://www.michaelyon-online.com/wp/bob-owens-media-terminator.htm

Posted by R30C at November 7, 2007 05:44 PM

If BP gets $1 of ad savings as a result of this, it will be a victory. Any money out of TNR's pockets is a victory.

Posted by Dogstar at November 7, 2007 07:45 PM

John, what if the sun really does revolve around the earth?

What if wearing ruby slippers, clicking your heels together three times, and saying "there's no place like home" thrice really takes you home?

What if George W. Bushitler really does have a device that he can use to steer hurricanes towards cities where people vote Democrat?

Beauchamp's stories bear the same resemblance to reality that those do.

Posted by C-C-G at November 7, 2007 07:53 PM

Good spelling.

Posted by uradink at November 7, 2007 08:30 PM

I have never believed in boycotts or putting pressure on advertisers.

Too many times most people don't have a clue about all the locations a product is advertised and many people not involved directly can be hurt with trying to leverage pressure on an advertiser.

Also to my view it is a responsibility of an advertiser not just to place ads to get eye contact, but to continuously review the content of the places they are using for associative image issues that may occur.

Sort of a trust but verify thing they need to do. The job does not stop at negotiation of an ad contract.

That is why I believe this has already been on their radar long before you emailed them and they could have decided to look at their current agreement expiration date and just planned to not renew if TNR did not come out with a final disposition on the matter that either retracted the issue or somehow cleared themselves of all wrong, which is the less likely case.

Posted by Lurker of sorts at November 7, 2007 10:34 PM

Lurker, I agree, that is what an advertiser should do.

However, the question is, how many actually do it?

Therefore, public pressure can sometimes open eyes that have been closed for whatever reason.

Posted by C-C-G at November 7, 2007 11:30 PM
Kathy Leech, Director of Brand Communications for BP, stated via email that "We are very aware of the allegations against the New Republic and are reviewing the situation prior to making a decision about our advertising."

I believe the corporate translation of this is "we what we want to do but we are well aware of political sympathies further up the company ladder. We don't want to make a decision that would piss of someone who can fire us.

We'll hold a lot of meetings and wait for someone else to make the decision so that it can't be blamed on us.

Posted by Stephen Macklin at November 8, 2007 09:47 PM