"September 14, 2007 -- WASHINGTON - Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson and other Republicans and conservatives demanded yesterday that The New York Times run a full-page ad responding to the one it ran attacking Gen. David Petraeus - at the same slashed price.
"This is unprecedented," Giuliani said yesterday.
"I call upon The New York Times to give us the same rate, the discount, heavily discounted rate they give MoveOn.org for that abominable ad."
Headlined "Cooking the Books for the White House," the MoveOn ad that ran in Monday's Times called Petraeus "a military man constantly at war with the facts" and concluded - even before he testified before Congress - that "General Petraeus is likely to become General Betray Us."
Giuliani blasted the ad as a "character assassination of an American general in a time of war."
He also called on Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to apologize to Petraeus for her treatment of him during a Senate hearing this week.
Also demanding the same price to defend Petraeus yesterday was Freedom's Watch, a group recently formed to counter organizations such as MoveOn on the Iraq war.
"It's outrageous that The New York Times would give a radical left-wing organization like MoveOn.org a discounted rate to publish an ad smearing the credibility of Gen. Petraeus," said the group's president, Brad Blakeman.
There was no response from the Times to the requests for discounted ads, the Giuliani camp and Freedom Watch said.
The Times acknowledged to The Post on Wednesday that the going rate for such an ad would be $181,692.
But a spokesman for MoveOn told The Post that the group paid just $65,000.
Amid a firestorm of criticism yesterday, the Times seemed confused about the proper ad rate.
Earlier in the day, the paper's spokeswoman said MoveOn had re ceived a discount and confirmed to Reuters the normal rate was "about $181,000." But later, the same spokeswoman told The Associated Press that the proper rate for such an ad is about $65,000.
Saying he wanted to place an advocacy group ad similar to MoveOn's, a Post re porter who contacted the Times without identifying himself was told earlier this week that the rate was about $167,000.
"We do not distinguish the advertising rates based on the political content of the ad," spokeswoman Catherine Mathis said, confirming that the normal rate was "around $181,000."
With Post Wires Services