Sunday, March 21, 2010

Journalism In Action

The New York Times has finally addressed their sorry performance in reporting on the James O'Keefe scandal, in which he falsely claimed that he dressed a pimp and was assisted by Acorn in setting up a brothel for underage girls. The tapes were heavily edited, and Acorn has been cleared of any criminal activity. The Times took all of these claims at face value, and printed numerous stories which uncritically repeated what O'Keefe claimed. After mounting criticism of their lax reporting standards, the Times finally responded through its public editor, Clark Hoyt, who writes today:

Here is what I found: O’Keefe almost certainly did not go into the Acorn offices in the outlandish costume — fur coat, goggle-like sunglasses, walking stick and broad-brimmed hat — in which he appeared at the beginning and end of most of his videos. It is easy to see why The Times and other news organizations got a different impression. At one point, as the videos were being released, O’Keefe wore the get-up on Fox News, and a host said he was “dressed exactly in the same outfit he wore to these Acorn offices.” He did not argue.
That's right - The New York Times, America's newspaper of record, is excusing their false and libelous reporting with this claim: "But we saw it on Fox News!"

Apparently, the budget cuts at the Grey Lady have led them to suspend any actual real journalism and resulted in their reporting staff simply transcribing Fox and Friends.

It's beyond me how anyone can take this newspaper seriously at this point.

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