Patterico's Pontifications

3/22/2007

L.A. Times Overlooks Serious Distortions; Corrects Only Trivial and Meaningless Errors

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 12:00 am

In recent days I have written the L.A. Times to request two corrections:

  • I noted that Bud Cummins, one of the fired U.S. Attorneys, has directly contradicted the major premise of an L.A. Times article published about him.

Four days after I noted the issue on this blog, and three days after I wrote the Readers’ Representative about it (on March 18), I have received no substantive response, and there has been no correction.

  • I noted that the paper strongly implied that Carol Lam was targeted after she prosecuted Randy “Duke” Cunningham — although the facts show that she was targeted for firing several months before the Cunningham scandal saw the light of day.

As to that error, I was told it won’t be corrected.

  • Also, in one of the e-mails I sent about one of the substantive errors mentioned above, I mentioned (completely in passing) that the paper had misquoted one of the documents in question (the infamous “real problem” May 11 e-mail from Kyle Sampson). In my e-mail I said:

    I’ll not comment in detail on the numerous mistakes The Times made in the simple act of quoting this e-mail accurately. Those are evidence of sloppiness, but they are not misleading. What is misleading, however, is your paper’s failure to report the fact that Sampson was responding to an inquiry made by Kelley the day before Sampson’s e-mail was sent.

Again, I mentioned this third error only in passing. I didn’t complain in detail. Nor did I bother to request a correction. The misquotation wasn’t really material. It just reinforced my view of this series of stories as sloppy.

So: of the above errors I pointed out, two substantive, and one technical and minor — which do you think got corrected? The substantive ones? Or the minor, technical one?

Why, the technical and minor one, of course:

U.S. attorney firings: An article in Thursday’s Section A on the firing of eight U.S. attorneys quoted an e-mail from D. Kyle Sampson, Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales’ then-chief of staff, to White House Deputy Counsel William Kelley as saying: “The real problem we have right now is Carol Lam. That leads me to conclude that we should have someone ready to be nominated 11/18, the day her 4-year term expires.” The quote should have read: “The real problem we have right now with Carol Lam … leads me to conclude that we should have someone ready to be nominated on 11/18, the day her four-year term expires.” Lam had been U.S. attorney in San Diego.

You gotta love it.

4 Responses to “L.A. Times Overlooks Serious Distortions; Corrects Only Trivial and Meaningless Errors”

  1. Patterico criticizes the LA Times for overlooking serious matters and correcting only trivial and meaningless errors?

    The ironies, they pretty much write themselves.

    m.croche (4ed956)

  2. Nope, I still don’t love it

    I’ve pretty much given up on sending corrections to the so-called readers’ rep at the Times. The paper will much more readily acknowledge a missplaced comma than a distortion of reality.

    Gerry Shuller (dd769a)

  3. All the news that’s fit to mis-print…

    Patterico skewers the L.A. Times over its refusal to issue corrections in its coverage of the U.S. attorneys firings. What’s the use of being the “paper of record” for the West Coast, when you won’t make sure that the record……

    Out on a limb at Mike Lief.com (0d19bc)

  4. I’m sorry, but the Enquirer has more credibility than the LAT, and they never correct anything except after losing libel suits.

    Another Drew (8018ee)


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