Sometimes it is so easy to make fun of Uncle Jimbo at Blackfive that I almost feel sorry for him and feel a little guilty about ridiculing him. It’s almost the Internet version of clubbing baby seals. Except Uncle Jimbo is fully grown, so lets pull out the clubs, shall we?
Now you may not have known this, but Uncle Jimbo doesn’t just sit around in front of his computer all day pulling his pud. No, Uncle Jimbo occasionally actually does things in the real world. In fact, last week Uncle Jimbo filed a Federal Election Commission complaint against the New York Times, which meant that he had to forgo a second Taco Bell chimichanga at lunch to give himself enough time to whip up and mail a short letter to the FEC.
It starts off promisingly:
Office of General Counsel
Federal Election Commission
999 E Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20463
“Folks.” That’s a nice touch. Personally I like to start complaint letters to federal agencies with a somewhat less formal salutation like “Yo Dogs” or “Hey Peeps.”
Sept. 10, 2007 the political advocacy group MoveOn.org ran an ad in the NY Times with the headline, Gen. Petraeus or Gen. Betray Us. … It has been reported that MoveOn paid $65,000 for the ad by ABC News … and the NY Post. …
The rate card price of such an ad on the NY Times political advocacy rate card is $181,692.
Well, I’ll be damned but it sure looks like Uncle Jimbo has the Gray Lady by the short hairs here. Now Uncle Jimbo moves in for the kill by revealing his extraordinary depth of expertise on FEC matters
I sold political advertising for Capital Newspapers in Madison, WI during the 2006 elections.
The media giant Capital Newspapers publishes such notable newspapers as the Baraboo News Republic, the Sauk Prairie Eagle and Wisconsin Dell Events. So Uncle Jimbo knows whereof he speaks. Or maybe not.
We were informed that there could be absolutely no discounts to the rate card prices for political or advocacy advertising based on federal law.
You were, were you? I wonder what the FEC actually says:
The Commission has permitted a number of the proposed transactions on the basis that the discount or rebate is made available in the ordinary course of business, and on the same terms and conditions (e.g., business volume), to the company’s other customers that are not political committees or organizations.
Advertising Age, which probably knows more about this matter than a guy who sold space for the Baraboo News Republic, has this to say about the whole affair:
But MoveOn bought its ad on a “standby” basis, under which it can ask for a day and placement in the paper but doesn’t get any guarantees. Standby pricing doesn’t appear on the Times rate card — but that kind of ad at a standby rate turns out to run about $65,000.
And that’s what the Giuliani campaign paid as well … for its counter ad today berating MoveOn … A campaign spokeswoman declined to say what the Giuliani campaign paid but said it was told by the newspaper that it was being charged the same standard rate MoveOn was charged.
So do you think Uncle Jimbo is firing up another FEC complaint about the Giuliani counter-ad? Or maybe he’s withdrawing his complaint about the MoveOn ad? Or perhaps he’s just going to pretend this never happened at all. Or is he going to barrel on straight ahead, oblivious to the facts, screaming about the perfidy of the New York Times and its illegal discounts?
If that video of Uncle Jimbo and his friend made anyone else throw up a little in their mouths, I’m truly sorry. Really. I am.