Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Interesting Editorial Decision by the Times-Picayune

On Monday, William Kristol, one of the leading neoconservative un-thinkers in the nation wrote a column for the New York Times. It's an anti-Obama piece called "Generation Obama? Maybe Not Quite."

It's a piece of garbage column, as has come to be customary from Mr. Kristol.

In it, he cites some dubious journalism, asserting that Mr. Obama had lied about personally hearing some more controversial sermons by Rev. Wright at Trinity Church:

But Ronald Kessler, a journalist who has written about Wright’s ministry, claims that Obama was in fact in the pews at Trinity last July 22. That’s when Wright blamed the “arrogance” of the “United States of White America” for much of the world’s suffering, especially the oppression of blacks.

This was an interesting thing to insert into the column because it has proven to be a total falsehood. Last July 22, Mr. Obama was in Miami.

As the information was pointed out to the author, Mr. Kristol added some italics to introduce his piece: "I regret the error."

Talking Points Memo
alerted its readers to this correction and also linked to this site, which has much more detail about Ronald Kessler, the author of the original false report.

This morning, I opened the local paper and was unpleasantly unsurprised to notice that the Times-Picayune had selected Bill Kristol's inaccurate piece for republication on page B-5.

Mr. Kristol's admission of inaccuracy and apology was not included. Instead, the Times-Picayune simply deleted the debunked portion of the column and ran it as if the whole thing (where Mr. Kristol's blatant attack piece on Mr. Obama included blatantly false information) never happened.

The decision, and I don't know if this was the Times-Picayune's choice or if this is something decided by the distributors of syndicated columns, deprives readers of information that would allow them to determine on their own whether or not Mr. Kristol is capable of providing capable analysis.

Either way, the big story is Mr. Obama's brave speech on race from the great city of Philadelphia.

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