Patterico's Pontifications

9/27/2009

New York Times: If ACORN Says Something and It Turns Out to Be False, We Just Won’t Report That. Because, You Know, Otherwise, They Might Look Like Liars!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:43 pm



Tom Maguire notes this riotously funny passage from New York Times ombudsman Clark Hoyt:

The Times quoted a statement by Bertha Lewis, Acorn’s chief executive, saying that the two activists, James O’Keefe, 25, and Hannah Giles, 20, spent months visiting Acorn offices in San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami and Philadelphia before getting the responses they wanted. But the article left out one city Lewis cited: New York [link]. Between the time of her statement and the publication of the article, a new video surfaced, featuring an Acorn worker in Brooklyn advising Giles to bury money from prostitution in a tin.

Some readers saw a deliberate effort by the paper to help Lewis out of a tight spot. Scott Shane, the reporter, said he had been unable to reach Lewis and felt that including New York among the cities she mentioned would have implied unfairly that she was lying, something for which he had no evidence. He said he thought it was unlikely that employees in New York would inform her of their misconduct before the video appeared. I think he should have included New York.

Uh, so do I.

So, to recap: ACORN spokeswoman says O’Keefe and Giles went to San Diego, Miami, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and New York — and got nowhere. But then, the New York Times finds out that they did go to New York, and got somewhere. They decide that including ACORN spokewoman’s full quote might make her look like a liar. So they doctor her quote to make sure she doesn’t look like a liar.

And if Breitbart had revealed an ACORN video from Los Angeles, would the New York Times have omitted that too?

Because: how do they know that he doesn’t have a video from Los Angeles?

It’s an innocent question.

20 Responses to “New York Times: If ACORN Says Something and It Turns Out to Be False, We Just Won’t Report That. Because, You Know, Otherwise, They Might Look Like Liars!”

  1. Merely one more example of the way corruption — and a half-assed way of living in general — tends to flourish or become more deeply ingrained when a “progressive” or “lefty” attitude or mindset becomes pervasive in a society or institution.

    Mark (411533)

  2. It’s even funnier because after the NYT article, San Diego was shown giving the same help.

    Awesome.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  3. “Some readers saw a deliberate effort by the paper to help Lewis out of a tight spot.”

    Go figure.

    Dave Surls (2eb5aa)

  4. If they print her lie, then she’ll look like a liar.

    Wow, they really don’t see the problem, do they?

    Kensington (3d1255)

  5. Because: how do they know that he doesn’t have a video from Los Angeles?

    It’s an innocent question.

    Lawyers NEVAH ask innocent questions.

    Does Patterico know something we don’t? Because an LA video would be ten kinks (<—actual Freudian typo) kinds of awesome.

    no one you know (7a9144)

  6. So, a quote can be doctored to say what the reported wanted to hear or say?

    Sounds more like fiction than quotation to me.

    But what do I know? I’m not a paid propagandist err…. journalist.

    NavyspyII (df615d)

  7. no one you know: “Because an LA video would be ten kinks (<—actual Freudian typo)"

    As one of the resident licensed mental health professionals, I’ll be the judge of whether or not that was an actual Freudian typo. OK

    Here goes: Hmmmm in my professional opinion, that was an actual Freudian Typo. Ja wohl?

    GM Roper (6afe02)

  8. The defenders of ACORN are showing up at places like Ann Althouse’s blog and making rare asses of themselves.


    p.s. Does it ever bother you that Blackwater loses more money in Iraq in a month than ACORN has ever received from the government for the past 20 years?

    There is plenty more where that came from. I would cringe at being defended by someone that dense.

    MIke K (2cf494)

  9. ACORN is apparently the lynch pin that holds Nancy Pelosi’s “Culture of Corruption” together. I say we pull it and start dismantling the Culture of Corruption.

    tyree (60c95a)

  10. You are too easy on them. They didn’t doctor a quote – there were no quotation marks, a sure indication of paraphrase filtering. What they said was accurate, just not complete.

    All they did is manipulate the information they had so as to present ACORN in the pest possible light while not violating the letter of the journalistic law. In other words, they were far more deliberate and careful, even professional, in their misrepresentation than you give them credit for.

    They get the explicit right and they set up the implicit wrong – oh, I guess those are the only cities she mentioned. Too bad that didn’t work either (San Diego).

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  11. p.s. Does it ever bother you that Blackwater loses more money in Iraq in a month than ACORN has ever received from the government for the past 20 years?
    There is plenty more where that came from. I would cringe at being defended by someone that dense.

    Comment by MIke K — 9/28/2009 @ 5:28 am

    I’ve never cheated on my income taxes, defaulted on a mortgage, provoked a diplomatic crisis, or lost a war. I think I should be made Czar czar.

    MD in Philly (d4f9fa)

  12. Regarding Los Angeles, I would include San Bernardino in the megalopolis that is the Greater Los Angeles area. The L.A. Times used to be distributed in the Inland Empire and the NYT is obiquitous at most Starbucks franchises.

    Interesting how MSM downplays opposing arguments by trotting out micro markets and their insignificance then trumpets the circulation numbers that are all-inclusive when chasing advertising revenue. Not a good move to insult your customers and readership.

    vet66 (996c34)

  13. All the news that’s fit to hide.

    RickZ (c06fbc)

  14. The ombudsman position is one thing the New York Times should be praised for. It’s shining light on the paper’s journalistic practices, and printing it in the paper itself, where the Times has to pay attention.

    Remember the first column by the first ombudsman, Daniel Okrent? The hed: Is the New York Times a Liberal Newspaper?

    The lede: “Of course it is.”

    That sure provoked a lot of howls!

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  15. All they did is manipulate the information they had so as to present ACORN in the pest possible light

    What would Freud say to that?

    Corwin (ea9428)

  16. Corwin –

    Wow, I had no idea – thanks. I think you may be on to something there.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  17. I discussed this with my wife yesterday morning, after she displayed the Hoyt column to me; all I could say what that Okrent was the only person who had any actual integrity at the paper – and for telling the truth, was shortly after shown the door.

    “…hey had so as to present ACORN in the pest possible light…”

    I think the typo works well here.

    Dmac (b905fa)

  18. Dmac,
    Okrent’s departure was expected, because the NYT rotates the ombudsman position. After Okrent, they had the forgettable Byron Calame. Hoyt is better, but not up to Okrent’s level.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (4bd2b6)

  19. Bradley – good point, I had forgotten about that tenure thing; but it’s still telling that they have yet to appoint anyone close to Orkent’s ability and outlook.

    Dmac (b905fa)

  20. p.s. Does it ever bother you that Blackwater loses more money in Iraq in a month than ACORN has ever received from the government for the past 20 years?

    SQUIRREL!!!!!

    kimsch (2ce939)


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