Monday, September 7, 2015

Why The New York Times' Clinton Error Is a Big Deal - The Atlantic

As presidential politics closes in on us there will be more nonsense reporting about Hillary Clinton.  Benghazi, email.  There is no there there.  Nor was there a there when the Times erroneously reported that there had been a criminal referral of Hillary Clinton.  As Ornstein points out it was incompetent reporting.  - gwc

Why The New York Times' Clinton Error Is a Big Deal - The Atlantic

by Norm Ornstein

I have read The New York Times since I was a teenager as the newspaper to be trusted, the paper of record, the definitive account. But the huge embarrassment over the story claiming a criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton for her emails—leading the webpage, prominent on the front page, before being corrected in the usual, cringeworthy fashion of journalists who stonewall any alleged errors and then downplay the real ones—is a direct challenge to its fundamental credibility. And the paper’s response since the initial huge error was uncovered has not been adequate or acceptable.

This is not some minor mistake. Stories, once published, take on a life of their own. If they reinforce existing views or stereotypes, they fit perfectly into Mark Twain’s observation, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” (Or perhaps Twain never said it, in which case the ubiquity of that attribution serves to validate the point.) And a distorted and inaccurate story about a prominent political figure running for president is especially damaging and unconscionable.

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