Patterico's Pontifications

10/20/2004

Fidel Castro

Filed under: Scum — AMac @ 11:33 pm

The Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro, has fallen and hurt his knee after giving a speech.
(more…)

Los Angeles Times Decides To Let Misrepresentation Stand

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 12:58 pm

Yesterday, I told you that the Los Angeles Times had published a falsehood benefitting the Kerry campaign. It looks like they’ve decided to stick with their misrepresentation, despite being put on notice that it’s false.

On Monday, President Bush quoted a John Kerry op-ed piece from March 2003, which claimed that Bush “relies unwisely on the threat of military preemption against terrorist organizations.” Bush cited Kerry’s quote as strong evidence of Kerry’s weakness on terror issues.

Yesterday the Times defended Kerry against the charge, claiming that Kerry’s op-ed “argued for tougher efforts to find and destroy terrorist organizations.” (Emphasis mine.) This was a significant claim, if true. The Times‘s claim appeared to soundly rebut Bush’s argument based on the Kerry quote. If you accepted the Times‘s claim, Kerry was being tough in the op-ed, not weak — and Bush was being disingenous, at a minimum.

There was one small problem: the Times‘s claim was not true. Contrary to the Times‘s claim, Kerry’s op-ed makes no argument that could possibly be interpreted as an argument for “tougher efforts to find and destroy terrorist organizations.” The Times‘s claim was based on an outright falsehood. You can see this for yourself if you read the op-ed — which I strongly encourage you to do.

Ever the optimist, I wrote the paper’s “Readers’ Representative” and asked for a correction. Here is her entire “response”:

Hi,

The passage that is in quotes in that same paragraph comes from Kerry’s essay, and supports the phrase that you’re questioning:

The Kerry quote Bush referred to came from an op-ed article in March 2003, in which he argued for tougher efforts to find and destroy terrorist organizations, saying the threat of preemption was inadequate on its own: “It is troubling that this administration’s approach to the menace of loose nuclear materials is long on rhetoric but short on execution. It relies unwisely on the threat of military preemption against terrorist organizations, which can be defeated if they are found but will not be deterred by our military might.”

Jamie Gold
Readers’ representative

Read the last two paragraphs of Ms. Gold’s e-mail again. That language, which is quoted from Kerry’s op-ed, is the language that the Los Angeles Times claims is an argument for “tougher efforts to find and destroy terrorist organizations.” It may look to you and me like Kerry wants to ease up on military operations, but who are you gonna believe — the Los Angeles Times, or your lying eyes?

This “response” is illustrative of the arrogance of Big Media. I have submitted undeniable evidence of a misstatement by the paper, and it has been simply brushed off. It is tempting to fly into a rage at such a dismissive response. But I have faith that, while it may take time, truth always wins in the end.

Over time, truth will erode the credibility of any organization not committed to truth, just as water erodes rock. The effect of water erosion on rock is never dramatic to the naked eye on any given day — but over time, it can create something as dramatic as the Grand Canyon. The water looks powerless, but over time, it wins the battle. Truth works the same way. It may take time — maybe a long time — but truth always wins in the end.

This is not to say that we shouldn’t help it along. If you are disturbed by the Times‘s position on this issue, you may reach Jamie Gold at Readers.Rep@latimes.com — for what it’s worth. Managing editor Dean Baquet can be reached at Dean.Baquet@latimes.com.

UPDATE: Laudably, Patterico readers have sent e-mails, and have gotten interesting (and maddening) responses. Read the comments below for details –and read this post for my further thoughts on the Times‘s reaction to these reader complaints.

UPDATE x2: Thanks to Xrlq, Outside the Beltway, Vodkapundit, INDC Journal, and Roger L. Simon for linking to this post.

I hope any new readers will bookmark my main page — and write the L.A. Times to complain about this misrepresentation, and the sophistry used to defend it.


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