Clark Hoyt, public editor of the New York Times, labors mightily to recover a shred of credibility in the wake of his newspaper's silly attempt to embargo and then denigrate the ACORN videos. He has a tough job. He reviews reader complaints, and gets comment from the writers and editors involved.
The Times quoted a statement by Bertha Lewis, Acorn's chief executive, saying that the two activists, James O'Keefe, 25, and Hannah Giles, 20, spent months visiting Acorn offices in San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami and Philadelphia before getting the responses they wanted. But the article left out one city Lewis cited: New York. Between the time of her statement and the publication of the article, a new video surfaced, featuring an Acorn worker in Brooklyn advising Giles to bury money from prostitution in a tin. Some readers saw a deliberate effort by the paper to help Lewis out of a tight spot. Scott Shane, the reporter, said he had been unable to reach Lewis and felt that including New York among the cities she mentioned would have implied unfairly that she was lying, something for which he had no evidence. He said he thought it was unlikely that employees in New York would inform her of their misconduct before the video appeared. I think he should have included New York. One persistent complaint about Acorn is that it fails to manage its staff. Lewis's statement was removed from Acorn's Web site after a video was posted with an Acorn worker from San Diego suggesting how to smuggle girls across the border. [emphasis added]
This is utter garbage from Shane. He is shamelessly protecting her from the consequences of her statement that contained falsehoods, editing them out.
In surprisingly awkward language, political news honcho Jill Abramson confessed that she has been wearing blinders.
Jill Abramson, the managing editor for news, agreed with me that the paper was "slow off the mark," and blamed "insufficient tuned-in-ness to the issues that are dominating Fox News and talk radio."
Hat tip: Lucianne.com