Patterico's Pontifications

1/31/2010

Times-Picayune Originally Reported that O’Keefe Was Charged with Wiretapping, Then Stealth-Corrected the Error

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:04 pm

I was wondering how I had initially gotten the idea that James O’Keefe had been accused of trying to wiretap Mary Landrieu’s phones. After all, if you look at my original post — in which I mistakenly said O’Keefe had been arrested for “allegedly attempting to bug Mary Landrieu’s office” — I linked a Times-Picayune blog post as my source. Follow that link, and you’ll see it begins as follows:

Alleging a plot to tamper with phones in Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office in the Hale Boggs Federal Building in downtown New Orleans, the FBI arrested four people Monday, including James O’Keefe, 25, a conservative filmmaker whose undercover videos at ACORN field offices severely damaged the advocacy group’s credibility.

Hm. Nothing about wiretapping there.

When I read the affidavit later that day and saw there was no allegation of wiretapping, I tried to figure out why I had messed it up. I went back and clicked on the above link to the Times-Picayune blog post, where I saw the language quoted above. So, I assumed that I had just misread the story, and had leapt to a bad conclusion.

As it turns out, I hadn’t. The Times-Picayune blog post originally said something different:

Alleging a plot to wiretap Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office in the Hale Boggs Federal Building in downtown New Orleans, the FBI arrested four people Monday, including James O’Keefe, a conservative filmmaker whose undercover videos at ACORN field offices severely damaged the advocacy group’s credibility.

That’s how the very same story was originally quoted at Ace’s. And at a whole bunch of other places.

See, the Times-Picayune originally said it was a wiretapping plot. Then, later in the day, they stealth-corrected their post. Meaning that when I went back to look, I was reading different language than I had originally read at the same link. I rubbed my eyes and thought: “I could have sworn that story said he had tried to wiretap her. Guess not.”

I wasn’t hallucinating. It had said that. I just didn’t catch the stealth correction — until now.

Weaselly move on the part of the Times-Picayune.

By the way, that fact-challenged CBS story has now been fully corrected. Glad to see it.

8 Comments

  1. Weaselly, and also unprofessional of the paper to change a blog post without making note of it.

    Comment by Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (9eb641) — 1/31/2010 @ 8:11 pm

  2. I guess they forgot to include that level of editors that notate changes when they occur.

    Comment by AD - RtR/OS! (951da8) — 1/31/2010 @ 9:34 pm

  3. Someone should ask this David Hammer if the word was his invention or if he got it from Landrieu’s office. I’m pretty certain he didn’t get it from the FBI, even though the original wording seems to suggest that he got it from the FBI.

    Comment by j curtis (5126e4) — 1/31/2010 @ 9:39 pm

  4. C’mon j, you know that “journalists” never reveal their sources.

    Comment by AD - RtR/OS! (951da8) — 1/31/2010 @ 9:46 pm

  5. Layahs. Lots of layahs.

    Comment by Ed from SFV (f6a87d) — 1/31/2010 @ 10:14 pm

  6. Wasn’t this the paper, that got everything wrong about Katrina, then got a Pulitzer for their coverage

    Comment by ian cormac (fb852e) — 2/1/2010 @ 5:39 am

  7. You can’t say you weren’t given fair warning that their story and correction would be “of little value or account”, “trifling”, and “petty”: they put “picayune” in big letters right on their masthead.

    Comment by Dr. Weevil (39d15b) — 2/1/2010 @ 6:50 am

  8. [...] There is no question that the initial reports of O’Keefe’s alleged behavior were overblown, and poisoned the public mind with images of “Watergate Jr.” Even law enforcement has [...]

    Pingback by Hot Air » Blog Archive » Ben Stein: Free James O’Keefe (e2f069) — 2/1/2010 @ 7:42 am

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