11.30.2007

The NYT's Michael Cooper demonstrates what real reporting is

Time’s Joe Klein (FISA Debacle) and The Washington Post’s Jerry Bacon, Jr. (Obama Muslim lies) could take a lesson or twelve from the NY Time’s Michael Cooper. If you can't prove it, don't print it. .

From Glenn Greenwald:

In an online chat yesterday, The Washington Post's Lois Romano defended her newspaper's neutral stenographic coverage of the factually false right-wing smear campaign against Barack Obama, a whispering campaign alleging that Obama "is a Muslim, 'a 'Muslim plant' in a conspiracy against America, and that, if elected president, he would take the oath of office using a Koran".

[snip]

One can see most vividly just how corrupt this process is whenever there is a news report that exemplifies the proper function of journalism. An article in today's New York Times by Michael Cooper, regarding Rudy Giuliani's campaign claims about his own record, is an excellent such example of good, basic reporting. Headlined "Citing Statistics, Giuliani Misses Time and Again," the article reports:

In almost every appearance as he campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination, Rudolph W. Giuliani cites a fusillade of statistics and facts to make his arguments about his successes in running New York City and the merits of his views. . . . .
After identifying numerous standard Giuliani claims regarding his crime and spending accomplishments, Cooper wrote:
All of these statements are incomplete, exaggerated or just plain wrong . . . .An examination of many of his statements by The New York Times, other news organizations and independent groups have turned up a variety of misstatements, virtually all of which cast Mr. Giuliani or his arguments in a better light.
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TPM's The Horses Mouth has more in, Hallelujah! New York Times Does An Epic Fact-Check Of Rudy's Multiple Falsehoods:
As you regulars know, this blog has been obsessing endlessly about the fact that the big news orgs have yet to take a genuinely tough line on Rudy Giuliani's chronic mendacity, which at this point has taken on a soaring, almost operatic quality.

But today The New York Times has come through in a big way, delivering an epic, front-page fact-check of the multiple falsehoods that have been tumbling forth from Rudy since the beginning of Campaign 2008. The piece is just devastating, saying as clearly as one could expect from the Times that Rudy is, well, full of sh-t:

Discussing his crime-fighting success as mayor, Mr. Giuliani told a television interviewer that New York was "the only city in America that has reduced crime every single year since 1994." In New Hampshire this week, he told a public forum that when he became mayor in 1994, New York "had been averaging like 1,800, 1,900 murders for almost 30 years." When a recent Republican debate turned to the question of fiscal responsibility, he boasted that “under me, spending went down by 7 percent.”

Ahhhhh -- the sweet sound of real journalism.

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