Patterico's Pontifications

7/8/2004

Los Angeles Times Corrects False Statement Regarding Bremer Farewell Speech

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 6:12 am

As regular readers know, I have been flogging the Los Angeles Times for falsely reporting on the front page of its Sunday edition that L. Paul Bremer III had left Iraq “without even giving a final speech to the country.” (For previous posts, see here, here, and here.)

The Times today issues the following correction:

Iraqi handover — A news analysis about the new Iraqi government in Sunday’s Section A stated that outgoing administrator L. Paul Bremer III did not give a farewell speech to the country. His spokesman has since said that Bremer taped an address that was given to Iraqi broadcast media. The spokesman said the address was not publicized to the Western news media.

I’m pleased that the paper has acknowledged its error. However, it is not an excuse that the speech was “not publicized to the Western news media.” Bremer’s farewell address had been common knowledge among readers of internet blogs since at least June 30, when I wrote about Tim Blair’s criticism of the Washington Post for making the same exact error. Yet the front-page L.A. Times news analysis appeared on July 44 days later.

Moral: someone at every major paper should be reading blogs. If they did, the papers might learn different points of view. They might pick up stories that are “not publicized to the Western news media.”

And they might make fewer errors on their front pages.

(Cross-posted at “Oh, That Liberal Media.”)

UPDATE: Thanks to Powerline, Instapundit, Dean Esmay, and Tim Blair for the links. I hope new readers will bookmark and/or blogroll the site, and keep reading.

UPDATE x2: Thanks also to Hugh Hewitt and Mickey Kaus for the links. And I am especially flattered to have been mentioned by Omar at Iraq the Model.

The Dead Parrot Society does a good job of trying to get to the bottom of what speech(es) Bremer actually did give. It appears there may have been two: one taped beforehand, and another at the handover ceremony.

The blogosphere continually amazes me with its ability to function as a collective entity for the distribution of information. Newspapers and other media organizations ignore it at their peril.

UPDATE x3: Here is a CNN transcript of one of Bremer’s farewell speeches.


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