Patterico's Pontifications


CBS Issues O’Keefe Correction — There’s Just One, Er, Two Problems . . .; UPDATED: CBS Editor Responds

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:26 pm

Yesterday morning I noted that CBS News (and the L.A. Times) owed corrections to James O’Keefe, for saying that he was accused of trying to “bug” Mary Landrieu’s phone. Instapundit linked, focusing attention on the error and putting pressure on CBS News.

CBS News has now corrected.


I received this e-mail this afternoon:

Good afternoon — I just wanted to let you know we corrected the headline on the James O’Keefe story and video earlier today.


Kevin Hechtkopf Politics Editor

Well, that’s very up-front. Now let’s take a look at the pages themselves.

Here’s the original for one of the links, found here. The bottom now contains this correction:

*Correction: The headline and subhead of this story initially referrred to the suspects as attempting a “phone bug.” They have been changed to reflect the fact that the men have been accused of tampering, not bugging.

Sure enough, here is the original:

CBS Claims Bug Suspects 2


CBS Claims Bug Suspects 4

Here’s how that looks now:

CBS Corrects 3


CBS Corrects 4

It now says “Tampering Suspects” instead of “Phone Bug Suspects.” Good.

Let’s look at the other link, here:

CBS Claims Bug Suspects 1


CBS Claims Bug Suspects 3

And now:

CBS Corrects 1


CBS Corrects Blank

This is more of a stealth correction. There is no acknowledgment of the initial error.

Worse, it’s still wrong. Let’s look at that close-up again. What was that pesky little word at the bottom that still remains?

CBS Corrects 2

Nope. They’re not “phone bug suspects.”

That last graphic is courtesy of Retracto, the Correction Alpaca, who is still demanding a retraction.

The wooly guy’s right. I sent Mr. Hechtkopf an e-mail asking for the last “bug” to be squished.

I’ll keep you informed.

UPDATE: Mr. Hechtkopf has responded to my e-mail:

That headline should have updated when we updated the story it links to. I don’t know why it didn’t and can’t fix it from here, but I will look into it tomorrow.

That actually sounds reasonable. I thank Mr. Hechtkopf for the reply.

UPDATE x2: The error has now been fully corrected.

23 Responses to “CBS Issues O’Keefe Correction — There’s Just One, Er, Two Problems . . .; UPDATED: CBS Editor Responds”

  1. Of all the “people” Breitbart has introduced us to in his Big World, I think Retracto, the Correction Alpaca is my favorite.

    Also, I’d like a sweater.

    Is this connected?

    Vivian Louise (643333)

  2. A lot of this is aimed at Brietbart and he knows what they are doing. He stayed clear of O’Keefe at first but it sound like he knows the facts now.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  3. “CBS News- Our Name Says It All.”

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  4. Also, I’d like a sweater.

    would you like that in racist or brown knit?

    Ellie Light (fb8750)

  5. Can the fringe media get any more stupid? I still watch 30 minutes of local news on one of them and change the channel. CNN/MSNBC is locked out and I forgot the code, on purpose.

    Scrapiron (996c34)

  6. CBS talking heads are nuttier than squirrel droppings.

    Scrapiron (996c34)

  7. I got in a brief discussion with my liberal boss today. I only add liberal because she was so enraged about O’Keefe, even when I was trying to tell her it was nothing about phone bugging, she went on and on about watergate and completely laughed any thing I said off.

    G (ce0c1b)

  8. Never stand next to someone attempting to commit suicide.

    AD - RtR/OS! (098720)

  9. Tommy Smothers called bullshit on CBS back in the Sixties, and he’s a screaming leftie!

    How many times have they been caught bare-assed lying since? Only my mother has less shame.

    What I Think (96d759)

  10. The new media. Doing the job that the in-the-tank main stream media are too busy fawning over Obama’s superior teleprompter skills, to do.

    Robinsolana (bf5171)

  11. Can they still say O’Keefe is facing up to ten years? I just heard the local Fox news nightly news show say that. That’s as good as saying they were bugging the place, at least propaganda wise, because it sounds so serious.

    j curtis (5126e4)

  12. j curtis, that’s the thing. Usually when the LA Times or whoever corrects a story, they just find a vaguer way to say the same twisted thing.

    At least it’s been proven they weren’t fair from the get go on this, but yeah, ‘ten years’ implies they were really heinous in their actions. Chances of them changing that to something more realistic are probably zero.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  13. Even worse, they won’t be invited to the Golden Globes!

    AD - RtR/OS! (098720)

  14. Dustin,

    Yeah, I think they do just enough to cover their ass from lawsuits. Maybe some lawyer can tell me, if someone is getting libeled from coast to coast like O’Keefe is, can he bring lawsuits in these dozens of different jurisdictions simultaneously? If so, I think he should go for it and bankrupt the whole msm.

    j curtis (5126e4)

  15. Public figures like O’Keefe have a very hard time winning libel suits. And it’s probably not a good PR move, if that matters.

    They have to be getting close to being vulnerable though. Shuster in particular. Did he ever correct his twitter?

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  16. As someone elsewhere asked, and I forward into this context — why is it an “alleged” terrorist, and an “alleged” attempt to blow up a plane, but it’s not an “alleged” tampering attempt?

    The word “alleged” seems to only apply to people the Dems want to lionize.

    IgotBupkis (79d71d)

  17. As someone elsewhere asked, and I forward into this context — why is it an “alleged” terrorist, and an “alleged” attempt to blow up a plane, but it’s not an “alleged” tampering attempt?

    The word “alleged” seems to only apply to people the Dems want to lionize

    Like the “alleged” ACORN corruption?

    TruIndependent (66858c)

  18. It’s nice to have the permanent record fixed. But, who ever goes back to reread the old news. Their knowledge set of this event is already filled. They don’t need to reread the article. So they “know” that they were bugging suspects not tampering suspects. The damage is done.

    More meticulous fact checking and proper front page corrections are required.


    JD (847e52)

  19. Watergate style break-in? Do any liberal rags or networks employ anyone with historical knowledge – or an ability to do research?

    I was alive during the Watergate era and as I recall that was done at night not daytime, by breaking and entering (remember the clue that they had been there was the electrical tape hold the spring bolt on the door?) not walking in and talking to the receptionist. Oh, and they actual broke into filing cabinets and tapped the phones.

    Historical (hysterical) revisionism runs rampant in the MSM.

    in_awe (a55176)

  20. What in_awe said. They may have changed “bug” to “tampering”, but until they get rid of the “Watergate-style break-in” headline they’re still lying through their teeth. There is no similarity whatsoever between this and Watergate, starting with the fact that nobody but CBS is even alleging that there was a break-in.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  21. […] — since O’Keefe attempted no such thing. I have already obtained corrections from CBS News and the Washington Post on nearly identical […]

    Patterico's Pontifications » Retracto, Call Your Office! (e4ab32)

  22. […] has admitted that O’Keefe was not trying to wiretap Landrieu’s phone, and numerous news outlets have issued retractions of their initial claims of attempted […]

    Hot Air » Blog Archive » Ben Stein: Free James O’Keefe (e2f069)

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