Patterico's Pontifications

11/3/2009

L.A. Times Corrects Most Blatant Error in Op-Ed by ACORN Consultant, But Leaves Others Uncorrected

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 10:34 pm

Responding to my complaints about a recent misleading op-ed about ACORN by Peter Dreier, the L.A. Times today printed the following correction:

ACORN: An Oct. 22 Op-Ed article about the community group ACORN stated that, in two ACORN offices, staff members offered advice to a pair of videographers posing as proprietors of a prostitution ring. While tapes of all the offices visited by the pair have not been released, it is clear from those that have been that ACORN offered advice in more than two offices. The article also said that the pair were “kicked out” of most ACORN offices. Because unedited versions of the tapes have not been released, it is unclear how the encounters ended, but it is unlikely they were ordered to leave most offices.

Just one problem: those weren’t the only issues I raised. I also pointed out another error by Dreier, who falsely stated that “not a single person who signed a phony name on a registration form ever actually voted. What occurred was voter registration fraud, not voter fraud, and it was ACORN that exposed the wrongdoing in the first place.”

As I noted in my post, the American Spector said otherwise, writing that “Darnell Nash of Cleveland, Ohio, was registered to vote by ACORN nine times for last year’s election. Nash cast a fraudulent ballot and was convicted of vote fraud and voter registration fraud.” According to every source I can find to address the topic, Nash actually voted in the election after being fraudulently registered by ACORN, only to have his fraudulent vote discovered after the fact. I have collected several consistent sources on this topic here. Also, as the link makes clear, Nash’s voter fraud was exposed, not by ACORN, but by a citizen whose address Nash claimed when Nash cast a fraudulent ballot.

Nor does the paper explain why Dreier’s acknowledged consulting work for ACORN was not disclosed.

I wrote Nick Goldberg and asked him to explain these omissions from the correction. Goldberg declined to do so for the record, and allowed me to publish only this statement:

If we run something inaccurate or misleading in the paper, our policy is to publish a clarification. There were a number of heated charges about mistakes in Peter Dreier’s article. We looked into all of them, tried to figure out who was right and who was wrong, and ran a clarification in today’s paper that speaks for itself.

That’s not an adequate response. Neither the correction nor Goldberg’s statement does a damned thing to explain why the paper didn’t correct Dreier’s false claims that “not a single person who signed a phony name on a registration form ever actually voted” or that “[w]hat occurred was voter registration fraud, not voter fraud.”

Nor do they explain why Dreier’s consulting work for ACORN wasn’t disclosed.

These are legitimate questions that deserve to be addressed. It’s a shame that Goldberg won’t do so.

Finally, while it’s an obvious point, it bears repeating: the one error that the paper did see fit to correct should never have seen the light of day. And at a paper that employed any conservatives as top editors, it wouldn’t have. Every conservative I know was aware that ACORN had provided advice to Giles and O’Keefe at more than two offices. The fact that nobody reviewing Dreier’s op-ed had any clue of that well-known fact shows how dismissive the editors are of the ACORN scandal specifically, and of conservative viewpoints generally.

UPDATE AND CORRECTION: Since this post was originally published, I have had a chance to look at the actual docket for Darnell Nash’s conviction, and it appears clear that, while he was charged with vote fraud, he was not convicted of vote fraud. Instead, he pled guilty to three counts of false registration. Here are the relevant screenshots:

Darnell Nash Charges 1

Darnell Nash Charges 2
Click to embiggen.

I have sent an e-mail to the author of the American Spectator article that erroneously reported that Nash was convicted of voter fraud, seeking a correction. I have received no response.

The interest of full accuracy demands that I publish this correction. It is nevertheless still quite clear to me that Nash voted illegally, whether he was convicted or not. Also, Dreier should have revealed his ACORN connections in the article, and botched facts familiar to every knowledgeable conservative I know.

27 Responses to “L.A. Times Corrects Most Blatant Error in Op-Ed by ACORN Consultant, But Leaves Others Uncorrected”

  1. I hope you aren’t surprised, Patterico.

    And you might want to ask how often Professor Dreier’s work has ever been corrected in any kind of left-leaning periodical (which appears to include the LA TIMES). It’s the metanarrative. It’s not what is true, but what ought to be true.

    The connections between Professor Dreier and ACORN are not slight, nor unimportant. And you might ask yourself how often the LA TIMES has corrected or critiqued “pundits” for connections to right-leaning organizations. Particularly when those pundits write opinion pieces defending those organizations.

    But you won’t get an answer to that either, because there is none. Hypocrisy and “fellow-traveling” sting a bit.

    Eric Blair (dd11cc)

  2. On that subject, you do know that Professor Dreier has a community organizing office in Eagle Rock? I wonder if a more subtle approach than a “pimp and prostitute” might show a similarity to ACORN’s behavior.

    Eric Blair (dd11cc)

  3. ACORN is a criminal enterprise start to finish. Why would any legitimate commentator state that they would cop to their own felonies upfront?

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  4. Heh, I posted this link for Artsy Dana elsewhere. Seems people are bringing up this song a bit lately. So here it is for EB.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  5. Good job, Patterico. I’m surprised you got any correction at all.

    DRJ (dff2ca)

  6. Should the L.A. Times practices, it’s clueless ignorance of common knowledge, be known as ostrich journalism?

    Brad (9d40d9)

  7. As this former newspaper reporter has said here numerous times, the LA Times can’t go out of business soon enough.

    sam (fa6f62)

  8. that speaks for itself

    Yeah, we heard what it said – that this newspaper will print lies.

    offered advice in more than two offices

    Funny how they couldn’t say the actual number.

    it is unlikely they were ordered to leave most offices

    How about, there is no reason whatsoever to believe they were ordered to leave other than ACORN’s word, which has proved to be unreliable?

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  9. I wonder if, before the videos release, if the LASlimes would have acted exactly like ACORN and offered to assist the “Pimp and Ho” get a home and conceal their income from the IRS?

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  10. Yes, it speaks for itself, and it confirms what we already thought about how dishonest the LA Times is willing to be in service of Teh Narrative.

    JD (57d75b)

  11. It is interesting how they treat all of the other issues as simple differences of opinion, when it is simply not the case. Also, how they do not see fit to disclose the long-standing ties that the Prof has with ACORN shows us that honesty and accuracy have no place in their world.

    JD (d45d96)

  12. You think the editors didn’t know?
    How about they did but hoped the readers didn’t?

    Richard Aubrey (a9ba34)

  13. That’s the community organizer solution: teasing out the nuance and then splitting the difference.

    Patricia (b05e7f)

  14. Maybe the phantom editor of the New York Times who will be tasked to review conservative sites will stop by the LA Times.

    Bob (cecd75)

  15. Amusing that a troll was claiming the same errors in a thread elsewhere on here a day or two ago.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  16. [...] Patterico points out additional “errors” in the piece that the LA Times chose not to [...]

    The LA Times has no clue « Internet Scofflaw (a61d70)

  17. Their responses are drafted by Charlie Gibson, and are just as believable as his statements on ACORN.

    cbinflux (f208a4)

  18. LA Times
    All the news that’s fit filtered to print.

    p.s. is there an an honest omsbudsman left in MSM? Anywhere..?

    cbinflux (f208a4)

  19. With circ declining like Barack’s approval, with LAT in the lead, this is like a cancer patient sitting down with a bowl of dioxins. It’s still worth doing but, as the dude said, the corrections and everything else speak for themselves. Fortunately for us, media is STILL a business. They must make payroll or the Dreiers of this world will be consigned to their just obscurity. And payroll is looking pretty iffy.

    megapotamus (268c42)

  20. Nevertheless, SPQR, they were errors. Consider yourself debunked.

    Official Internet Data Office (967528)

  21. http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/kausfiles/archive/2009/11/03/mineola-man-survives-n-j-nuclear-holocaust.aspx
    headline today in the LAT, priceless. “no liberal bias here”

    Jim,MtnViewCA,USA (fd120b)

  22. Of course, the no proven voter fraud issue is itself a canard at another level. Its almost impossible to prove because there are so few mechanisms to investigate it.

    Its like arguing ‘it is absurd there are illegal aliens, X are not caught and deported from LA per year… so how can it be a real problem?’.

    thomass (27f865)

  23. The LAT is in the business of story telling – not in the business of telling the bold truth. In this sense they are primitives, without a sense of stark truth. They are retreating to childhood when everything is a fairytale and Santa is real.

    Colorado (0c9d05)

  24. [...] to editor Nick Goldberg complaining about the inaccuracies and omissions. The paper eventually issued an inadequate correction in response to my [...]

    Patterico's Pontifications » Patterico’s Los Angeles Dog Trainer Year in Review 2009 (e4ab32)


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