s skippy the bush kangaroo: gray lady down!

skippy the bush kangaroo

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

gray lady down!

sign the petition to demand that ombudsman clark hoyt offer a retraction in the new york times of their factually incorrect story about james o'keefe appearing as a pimp in the acorn offices.

as you may know, our good buddy brad blog has been holding the nytimes' feet to the proverbial fire over their sloppy reporting on this story:
at the end of the remarkable email exchange between hoyt and myself (published in full at the end of this article), he says he recommended only that "times editors ...avoid language that says or suggests that o'keefe was dressed as a pimp when he captured the acorn employees on camera."

that, even though...
  • former ma attorney general scott harshbarger, whose investigation [pdf] of the edited versions of the videos found no illegal conduct by acorn staff and observed that "at each and every" acorn office visited by o'keefe with his partner hannah giles (who was dressed as a "prostitute") he was "dressed like a college student - in slacks and a button down shirt," and;

  • acorn has stated on the record, based on interviews with their employees, that [emphasis in original] "o'keefe was not wearing that absurd costume when he visited our offices," and;

  • giles herself has now twice admitted on the record (once on video tape), that o'keefe never wore his 70's-era blaxploitation pimp costume in those offices, and;

  • o'keefe and giles' benefactor, andrew breitbart, who published and promoted the videos (and misrepresented them himself in his own washington times column) also finally acknowledged the pimp outfit was only used as a marketing gimmick, and;

  • while the times' scott shane first reported on september 15th of last year that o'keefe "visited acorn offices...dressed so outlandishly that he might have been playing in a risqué high school play" and, on september 18th, as traveling in "the gaudy guise of pimp and prostitute through various offices of acorn," and;

  • the paper had reported similarly time after time since then (without noting the existence of harshbarger's report even once), and;

  • even though i directly debunked several pieces of "evidence" that hoyt originally proffered for his original assessment that he "would not recommend a correction, based on the available evidence," and offered him much more corroborated evidence along with it, and;

  • even though he acknowledges his original evidence was, indeed, inaccurate, and;

  • even though congress voted to defund acorn just days after the new york times' first inaccurate report;
...hoyt nonetheless wrote in his final communication to me: "i still don't see that a correction is in order, because that would require conclusive evidence that the times was wrong, which i haven't seen."

but of course by now, he has seen, or at least he has been sent, "conclusive evidence that the times was wrong." yet he has still declined to recommend any retractions by the "paper of record."

i am as utterly gobsmacked now as i was when times' senior editor of standards greg brock originally cited an appearance by james o'keefe wearing his pimp costume on fox "news," during which host steve doocy said the rightwing activist was "dressed exactly in the same outfit that he wore in these acorn offices up and down the eastern seaboard," as evidence to support their reporting.
the brad blog also aggregates various articles by blogtopia (y!wctp!) supporting their thesis that there is ample objective observable proof not only that o'keefe never wore the pimp outfit into acorn offices, but that the implication that he did was happily spread thru-out media, thanks in part to the nytimes incorrect reporting. the same brad blog article describes how hoyt now accuses brad blog of a "political agenda" for demanding the nytimes report facts accurately.

clark hoyt may be reached here. be polite but firm.
posted by skippy at 3:42 PM |


Hoyt's behavior in this situation is outrageous.
commented by Anonymous Mad Kane, 11:18 PM PST  

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