Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Bias or Incompetence at the N.Y. Times?

Key excerpts from the original article in the New York Times published on Sunday, July 24:

Government Defies an Order to Release Iraq Abuse Photos

Lawyers for the Defense Department are refusing to cooperate with a federal judge's order to release secret photographs and videotapes related to the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal.

The lawyers said in a letter sent to the federal court in Manhattan late Thursday that they would file a sealed brief explaining their reasons for not turning over the material, which they were to have released by yesterday.
The reporter managed to contact the ACLU for a quote to include in the article, but the article does not contain a quote from the government's lawyers.

The correction dated July 26:

An article on Saturday about a federal judge's order regarding photographs and videotapes related to the Abu Ghraib prison scandal misstated a deadline and the response by Defense Department lawyers. The government was given until Friday to black out some identifying details in the material, not to release it. Defense Department lawyers met that deadline, but asked the court to block the public release of the materials. They did not refuse to cooperate with an order for the materials' release.

As Power Line notes, the damage done by the article appearing in the Sunday edition of the Times can not be undone by a correction. Clearly, the reporter failed to perform any fact checking. My question: Was the original article the result of a careless failure to verify the ACLU's story, or does the liberal bias of the reporter and the Times run so deep that the reporter feels no need to verify the ACLU's story?


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