Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"Time magazine stands by a discredited report on the netroots, while a Texas newspaper pulls back from liberal-bashing."

Ari Melber (The Nation):
Markos Moulitsas responds to my Nation article about the Netroots Nation convention, which discussed how Time erroneously reported that Hillary Clinton was booed in a Q&A session last year:

It was clear that some narratives have set and won't be changed no matter what. I already fired off an email to Time asking for corrections to that [Clinton error] and several other glaring errors in that terrible piece. But as we've learned with Joe Klein, Time considers itself and its writers infallible, so there's slim chance of any corrections.

As I explained on Monday -- and last year -- Clinton was not booed in her Q&A session. I have now dug up a 42-minute audio recording of her entire Q&A appearance, which Time editors are welcome to review. (There is also extensive press coverage available from the event, corroborating the fact that Clinton was not booed during the session. She was booed during a much larger presidential candidate debate held on the same day.)

Yet two days since the story was posted, Time has not issued a correction, despite an irrefutable record and requests from a major figure involved in the story. Moulitsas has even been profiled by the magazine, albeit under the headline "Inside the Cult of Kos." Now this may seem like a minor error, but it fits with a recurring tendency to slant coverage of the progressive netroots, even stretching to the point of blatant inaccuracy, while avoiding the most basic corrections required by journalistic standards. And it's bigger than one magazine article.

Back in Texas, the Tuesday edition of the Austin American-Statesman features an editor's note informing readers that the paper "compromised" its standards by running a front-page news article slamming Netroots Nation as a virtual "faint-in" for "marauding liberals" to honor a House Speaker so liberal she could represent China. Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell, (who spoke on a panel with me at the conference), reported on Monday night that the paper removed the article from its website after local and national bloggers flagged the article's odd tone and misleading references.

Time should take the Texas route on this one, too.

An editor's note could even make a decent post on their Swampland blog.

Howie P.S.: You might want to take a look at "How many wrong narratives can the media spin?" that Markos posted yesterday and that Ari linked to in the above.

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