Patterico's Pontifications

1/27/2004

CORRECTIONS AS REFLECTIVE OF LIBERAL BIAS IN THE MEDIA

Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 9:25 pm

Power Line has a great post that collects three examples of corrections in the New York Times, all of which appeared this morning. Each corrects a story that was initially biased towards the left.

Here are the three corrections:

Because of an editing error, a front-page article yesterday about David A. Kay, the C.I.A.’s former weapons inspector, misstated his view of whether the agency’s analysts had been pressured by the Bush administration to tailor their prewar intelligence reports about Iraq’s weapons programs to conform to a White House political agenda. Mr. Kay said he believed that there was no such pressure, not that there was. (His view was correctly reflected in a quotation that followed the error.)

Whoops!

A front-page news analysis article on Wednesday about the impact of electoral politics on President Bush’s State of the Union address referred incorrectly to a statement in last year’s address, about Iraqi efforts to acquire uranium. The president said Iraq had been seeking to buy uranium in Africa. He did not specifically mention the African country of Niger, though it was identified several weeks earlier — along with Somalia and Congo — in the National Intelligence Estimate provided to members of Congress on Iraqi purchase attempts.

Whoops!

An article on Saturday about Gen. Wesley K. Clark’s difficulties in his first run for office quoted him as saying that a question about his Democratic credentials by the Fox News anchor Brit Hume at a debate on Thursday was “part of a Republican Party agenda.” The article also quoted a spokesman for General Clark as criticizing the network.

Because of an editing error, the article omitted a response by Fox News. Paul Schur, a spokesman for the network, dismissed the suggestion that Mr. Hume’s question was prompted by anyone. “General Clark should be used to facing tough questions about his record,” Mr. Schur said. “This isn’t the first time questions have been raised about his affiliation. His handlers should spend their time on more constructive things such as trying to come up with reasons for the general’s slippage in the polls.”

Whoops!

Isn’t it interesting that, in each case, the error favored the leftist position? David Kay makes the Bush administration look bad. Bush is made to look like a liar. Clark’s accusation of bias by Brit Hume goes unrebutted.

This problem is not unique to the New York Times. I have documented that it also occurs regularly at the Los Angeles Times Dog Trainer

Does this mean a conspiracy is afoot? Of course not. What this shows is that liberal assumptions reign supreme in the newsroom. A right-wing editor might have read the Kay quote and thought to ask: “Are we sure that’s right?” A right-wing editor would know that Bush’s State of the Union speech has been distorted in the past. A right-wing editor might have asked: “But what did Brit Hume say about Clark’s criticism?”

But when editors agree with the leftist slant, these kinds of questions don’t get asked. And the Old Gray Lady ends up printing three embarrassing corrections in one day.

RESPONSE TO XRLQ

Filed under: Crime — Patterico @ 6:05 pm

Xrlq has posted a response to my post suggesting that the death penalty is appropriate only when guilt has been proved beyond all possible doubt. Xrlq’s position is rational, and he makes some good points. Ultimately, however, I am not convinced. To explain why, I want to clarify and respond to a few points.
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BONFIRE IS BURNING

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 12:16 am

A new Bonfire of the Vanities can be found here, celebrating the worst of the blogosphere. You should not be surprised to find a post of mine falling into this category.

WELCOME TO NEW READERS AND COMMENTERS

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 12:01 am

Yesterday, I noticed a number of folks commenting for the first time.

I heard from Roberta (long time reader, first time commenter).

I received several comments from my brother-in-law, who posted under the name “food diary” — which no doubt left some suspicious that he was a comment spammer. Not so. In fact, he is simply a bright (though liberal) guy who heads up an inventive site that helps people watch what they eat.

Also gratifying was receiving comments from folks who run great blogs, like the comment from Spoons, and another comment from the always controversial Emperor Misha I. And it’s always great to hear from luminaries like Smash, Xrlq, and others. You know who you are.

Comments are one of the most motivating aspects of blogging. Please keep ’em coming!

And to anyone who has run across this site for the first time: welcome! I hope you enjoy what you read here, and that you come back and visit often.


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