Patterico's Pontifications

9/2/2005

The Los Angeles Times Once Again Edits the Truth Out of a Wire Story

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Sheehan,War — Patterico @ 6:49 am

Once again, the Los Angeles Times has edited a wire story in a way that distorts the truth. As edited by the L.A. Times, an AP story yesterday on Cindy Sheehan’s Crawford protest states:

Although two top administration officials talked to Sheehan the first day, the president never did — though he said that he sympathizes with her. He ended his vacation Wednesday to monitor federal aid to hurricane victims on the Gulf Coast.

(My emphasis.)

Saying that Bush “never” met with Cindy Sheehan makes her cause seem more righteous, and Bush’s behavior more callous. But, of course, the president did meet with Cindy Sheehan in June 2004 — and Sheehan praised him shortly thereafter as sincere and sympathetic.

The story should not say that Bush “never did” meet with Sheehan. Rather, it should say that “the president never did during her Crawford stay.” And guess what? That’s what the original AP story said — before L.A. Times editors got their hands on it.

The phrase “during her Crawford stay” appears in versions of the story running in the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and the Contra Costa Times, just to name a few:

While two top Bush administration officials talked to Sheehan the first day, the president never did during her Crawford stay — although he said that he sympathizes with her. His vacation ended Wednesday, two days early, so he could monitor federal efforts to help hurricane victims on the Gulf Coast.

Why, the phrase even appeared in the version originally published on the L.A. Times web site on August 31.

Why were these four words omitted from the version that ran in the print edition of the L.A. Times? Did the editors not have enough space for four words that tell you the whole truth?

UPDATE: Welcome to Instapundit readers, and thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link. I hope new readers will blogroll the site and/or bookmark the main page, and return often.

UPDATE x2: I have added a link to my L.A. Times op-ed above, so that nobody can pretend that I’m claiming Cindy Sheehan supported the war when she met with Bush previously. She didn’t — and I make clear in the linked op-ed that she didn’t. And, contrary to the bleating of some carpers (like this guy), I have never once claimed she did.

17 Responses to “The Los Angeles Times Once Again Edits the Truth Out of a Wire Story”

  1. They are so dumb and arrogant. Is that what they learn in journalism school???

    AJ Lynch (e9f6b9)

  2. Before he died,I used to communicate with David Shaw about the very things you describe the LAT being guilty.Of course I used you as a major source,What was interesting,was the excuses he fell back to every time you or Mickey Kaus caught them in a lie or a misrepresentation of the truth.I thought that getting rid of John Carrol would solve most of the problems.WRONG!The problems at the LAT are systemic,and are prevalent throughout the print media(MSM).It is arrogance,and arrogant people are not necessarily stupid.They just say and do stupid things.
    Bob Mandel – Ventura CA

    Robert I Mandel (247c9d)

  3. Before he died,I used to communicate with David Shaw about the very things you describe the LAT being guilty.Of course I used you as a major source,What was interesting,was the excuses he fell back to every time you or Mickey Kaus caught them in a lie or a misrepresentation of the truth.I thought that getting rid of John Carrol would solve most of the problems.WRONG!The problems at the LAT are systemic,and are prevalent throughout the print media(MSM).It is arrogance,and arrogant people are not necessarily stupid,they just say and do stupid things.
    Bob Mandel – Ventura CA

    Robert I Mandel (247c9d)

  4. Maybe the editor actual thinks that Bush never met with Sheehan, and was “clarifying” the story. People believe what they want to believe and in this case it wasn’t dishonest reporting, just willful ignorance.

    Not that either qualifies the editor for continued employment.

    Kevin Murphy (6a7945)

  5. Actually, I think your anger is directed at the wrong target — I think the AP version was misleading. By saying “the president never did during her Crawford stay,” the story uses an awkward construction that would leave a reader to believe that the President never met with her, even though the statement is technically accurate. And because it’s an awkward construction, an LA Times copy editor, not knowing or remembering that Bush met with her months ago, removed four words that seemed superfluous — thereby turning a misleading statement into an inaccurate one.

    I’m guessing at all this, but it seems much more likely than deliberate falsification. The careful (and awkward) wording of the original indicates the AP writer clearly knew about the earlier presidential meeting, and for whatever reason did not want to mention it.

    Kirk (e861f3)

  6. Maybe the editor actual thinks that Bush never met with Sheehan, and was “clarifying” the story. People believe what they want to believe and in this case it wasn’t dishonest reporting, just willful ignorance.

    Note that I didn’t specifically offer an opinion in the post as to *why* the edit was done.

    Patterico (cfeca5)

  7. That LAT editor deserves praise, not blame. Bush never met with Cindy Sheehan. He didn’t because he couldn’t possibly have done so.

    Don’t you see, Bush is a bad guy and only does really, really, bad things to poor folks, children, and furry little animals. Therefore, as all progressive thinking people know, or should at least say they know, that Bush is responsible for everything bad that happens, and of course, nothing good, ever, ever, ever.

    It’s that simple, really, it is. Try it, you’ll see how easy it makes all the hard work of looking into things, and finding participants to interview, and taking notes, and all the rest of that dull stuff. You’ll be amazed at the time you save. And, really, at this point, who gives a damn?

    Black Jack (ee3eb6)

  8. Does anyone really believe that an editor of one of the nation’s largest papers was unaware that Bush and Sheehan had met? It doesn’t even pass the laugh test.

    Craig R. Harnon (ca5375)

  9. Alas doesn’t the goddamn LA Times realize that the Great W cannot make a mistake????

    Who gives a damn about the campaign of lies to manipulate the country into an unnecessay and absurd war.

    Yay that veritable trouble maker and doubter Cindy Sheehan, like any other witch, should be burnt at the stake!

    W is infallible! All Hail W, the omniscient and magnificent.

    toM (d24dc6)

  10. They needed to free up that column space for another 4 words: “Bush lied (plastic turkey).”

    Jim Treacher (f7789a)

  11. I think all news feeds should be routed through the White House Press Secretary.

    Scott McClellan should be the Minister of Propaganda. That’s the only way the truth is ever going to be revealed to the American Public !

    Dana (4b9566)

  12. Comments #9 and #11 are giving brain death and retardation a bad name.

    Morowbie Jukes (1aedba)

  13. Let’s pray that something from space doesn’t fall on earth…But,it would be hilarious to hear the Bush Haters rhetoric blaming Bush for not preventing it..Mean while,someone should intercept the propaganda of the Democrat Party and slip in some pro Bush sentences..Something like ,Bush not at fault,doing best he can…You can guarantee that all these Bush hating pundits would repeat it..They are all controlled robots..

    John Garnett (7ab84b)

  14. At what point in time does ‘positive thinking’ become delusion?

    Dana (4b9566)

  15. President Bushs’ Reaction to Hurricane Relief response was mixed..To the Public he says he is dissatified with the timing..However to his Cabinet and Staff his reaction is some what more direct..Word is that the following conversation took place in the Cabinet room.;;
    Bush; WHAT THE F**K IS HAPPENING HERE!!!.What the Hell are those FEMA Trucks doing sitting out there on the Highway??What is that damn mayor doing.Tell him to stop bitching and cowering and get his ass out and stop the looting and killing..Get his Cops out there and kill them SOBs…Tell him New Orleans is his City..Stop whining and get control..Tell that damn governor to get busy and start doing her duty..Get her Guard and get control of her state..ALL of you get busy and get down there…I see one more body laying in street rotting in the sun or hear one more plea for water and food,I’m gonna fire all of you…Now,who is the genuis that decided to plug the canal levees first,Shit ,any Idiot could see that plugging the canal entrances should have been done first..Sinking some barges at the entrances could have plugged the leaks a few hours after they started..Last I saw the Industrial Canal has Barges waiting to be used…Screw getting permission from the owners..New Orleans being flooded is B.S.,,FIRE the ass hole in charge..
    Now,I’m going back to Crawford and all of you had better solve this shit and get the Press off my Ass.By the way.CONDI. I’m putting you in charge of getting the price of Oil down..Tell them Producers that I can find Al Queda and WMD in their countries if I have to..I want $35 /brl by next week otherwise all hell is going to break loose…

    John Garnett (7ab84b)

  16. Well, some commenters defend the trashy inacceptable (to sane and normal people) distortion of truth by the press. I have the suspition that those who feel comfortable with the press lying to everybody are from the left. Only leftists can defend crap like that; I guess it runs in their blood. Disgusting indeed.

    Miguel (e69e3f)

  17. […] It was inaccurate to say that Bush “never” met with Sheehan, because the president met with her in June 2004. As I noted in my previous post, the original version of the AP story had included a clarifying phrase (“during her Crawford stay”) that Times editors removed: While two top Bush administration officials talked to Sheehan the first day, the president never did during her Crawford stay — although he said that he sympathizes with her. […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » It Depends On What the Meaning of “Never” Is (421107)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.2386 secs.