The worst of Times —

The New York Times admits that it was a little lazy in some of its Iraq reporting:

…we have found a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been. In some cases, information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged. Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged — or failed to emerge.

Interestingly, they avoid specifically naming Judith Miller, who, as Slate noted, “deserves special scrutiny because so many of her sensational stories never panned out.” Granted, the Times also provided this sample of the suspect stories and their problems, so you can simply survey the authors’ names and draw your own conclusions. But why tippy-toe? Why not fire her? I’m sure Rupert Murdoch can put her to work.

While we’re on the subject of the Times, this weasly gloss job on the Florida 2000 debacle rankled me greatly when it ran Monday, but I didn’t get back to it to provide a link and a rant. (Body and Soul expounds on it, though — and in greater detail than I would have.) Times writer Abby Goodnough informs us that “…intentional disenfranchisement was never proved, and blatant voter intimidation now seems to have been far more limited than first reported,” and that “(Repubicans say) rumors of black voter intimidation in 2000 remain grossly exaggerated: a Florida Highway Patrol investigation of an unauthorized police checkpoint near a precinct in a black neighborhood outside Tallahassee, for example, found no evidence that it delayed or prevented blacks from voting.” Isn’t that a relief? ‘Cuz, it sure seemed like intentional disenfranchisement and blatant voter intimidation. But the most amazing reconstruction was this one:

…in 2000, the counties mistakenly purged an unknown number of legitimate voters from the rolls because of faulty data.

“Mistakenly purged.” Who is this woman?! If you don’t remember how they were “mistakenly purged,” see this old Greg Palast article, or the first couple chapters of his book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, or just watch this little presentation which I’ve pointed to in the past…

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