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Giuliani slams Times over anti-Petraeus ad

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NEW YORK - The New York Times came under attack yesterday by Rudy Giuliani and a group of conservative Republicans for what they said was favoritism in its advertising rates to MoveOn .org, a liberal antiwar group, for an ad attacking General David H. Petraeus, the American commander in Iraq.

Giuliani, a Republican presidential candidate, sought - and received - space in today's editions of the newspaper for an ad in which he praises Petraeus. Someone with knowledge of the price said the Giuliani campaign paid $65,000, which has said was the same price it paid.

MoveOn's ad ran in the A section on Monday, the first day of Petraeus's highly anticipated testimony to Congress about the progress of the Iraq war. Congressional Republicans and others widely condemned the ad, saying it impugned Petraeus's integrity and was unpatriotic.

In a campaign stop in Atlanta yesterday, Giuliani told reporters that MoveOn and the Times had engaged in character assassination against Petraeus.

"We are going to ask The New York Times to allow us tomorrow to print an ad that will obviously take the opposite view," Giuliani said, adding that the Times gave a "discounted" rate to MoveOn, which had expressed the "very excessive left-wing side of this dispute."

The ad has become a major talking point for Republicans. Several have demanded that the Democratic presidential candidates condemn the ad, which they have not done.

Catherine Mathis, a spokeswoman for the Times, said the newspaper does not base its ad rates on political content. She also said that the paper cannot disclose what it charges for individual ads. But she did say the paper's "standby rate," which is for advertisers who request a particular day and placement but are not guaranteed it, was $64,575 for a full-page, black-and-white ad on Monday in the A section.

"The Giuliani campaign asked for the same rate as MoveOn, and we said you'd have to go standby," she said. She said the advertising department told the campaign the ad would run in today's A section.

Giuliani's ad attacks MoveOn .org and Senator Hillary Clinton of New York, the leading Democratic presidential candidate, while praising Petraeus.

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