Soros's ProPublica makes a major, embarrassing correction

ProPublica, the high-and-mighty investigative-reporting foundation financed by George Soros, Herbert and Marion Sandler, the Ford Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation and other leftwing elitist moneybags, has been forced to issue an embarassing correction to one of its vaunted investigative reports.

According to the Washington Examiner:

ProPublica has issued a correction for mistakenly saying in an article that Gina Haspel, President Trump’s nominee to head the CIA, was involved with the treatment a terror suspect and falsely stated she mocked the suspect.

Although Haspel, who has been with the CIA since 1985, was in charge of a covert CIA prison in Thailand where detainees were subject to waterboarding and other interrogation methods in 2002, the ProPublica story falsely stated she was directly involved with the torture of a prisoner by the name of Abu Zubaydah. Zubaydah was waterboarded at the CIA prison on 83 occasions.

“It is now clear that Haspel did not take charge of the base until after the interrogation of Zubaydah ended,” ProPublica said in the correction Thursday.

That report has made the rounds among the commentariat and is sure to give President Trump's nominee to lead the agency some tremendous headaches during confirmation. And it turns out the whole thing was fake news.

ProPublica's error sounds like a case of lefties doing reporting to support their prejudices, probably with the aim of getting invited to all the right cocktail parties, which given ProPublica's funding, is probably literally true. Seriously, they did their ace investigative reporting based on a passage from some guy's book, and apparently misread it, deciding that 'he' and 'she' were interchangeable. Oh, so transgender of them. But not exactly anyone's idea of investigative reporting, which takes considerable verification and fact-checking before it goes to print.

O.K., so no one is perfect. And they deserve some kudos, seriously, for making the correction. We all know that CNN, if they had made the error, wouldn't.

But it was such a colossally stupid error. Get a load of these passages from ProPublica's correction statement:

At about the same time, we approached the CIA’s press office with an extensive list of questions about the cables and Haspel’s role in running the Thai prison, particularly her dealings with Zubaydah.

An agency spokesman declined to answer any of those questions but released a statement that was quoted in the article, asserting that “nearly every piece of reporting that you are seeking comment on is incorrect in whole or in part.”

After getting that email, and patting itself on the back for including the CIA statement in its original report, ProPublica came up with this:

A few reflections on what went wrong in our reporting and editing process.

The awkward communications between officials barred from disclosing classified information and reporters trying to reveal secrets in which there is legitimate public interest can sometimes end in miscommunication. In this instance, we failed to understand the message the CIA’s press office was trying to convey in its statement.

You failed to understand that “nearly every piece of reporting that you are seeking comment on is incorrect in whole or in part”? That might be a red flag to normal reporters, but not ProPublica, not when they had some guy's book to go on.

Just the fact that they wanted to make an issue of this, the mean statements of some CIA roughneck out in the field to some slimy terrorist who got himself into his situation in a CIA prison for trying to kill us - quite possibly with a gun (heaven forfend!) - is pretty questionable. Frankly, demoralizing a terrorist with mean statements is what we expect of the CIA. We want them to be unpleasant to terrorists in the field. We want them to fulfill the third-world goophead's biggest paranoid fantasies about them. Was what ProPublica trying to say in its orginal report that got 'em trapped into making a correction really a lefty's cry for the CIA to provide good customer service with a smile to vicious Islamist terrorists? Marquess of Queensberry rules? Guilty as sin, free as a bird, America is a great country? The world run by lawyers from the Hague? Such a stupid premise. Frankly, nobody cares if terrorists don't like getting waterboarded in Thai prisons. Next time, tell 'em to try harder to avoid hanging around radical mosques and plotting to mass-slaughter Americans.

Meanwhile, it's  nice to see the haughty Soros-financed outfit, with its big Pulitzer prize and Olympian mien, cut down a peg, just as stupid as the average lefty led around by the nose by his prejudices, by what he really wanted the story to be.

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