The Times welcomes complaints about errors that warrant correction.
White House correspondent Maggie Haberman said it was “dangerous” for Rep. Joaquin Castro to tweet out the names of a bunch of Trump-supporting San Antonians. It was not, in fact, dangerous, as campaign finance records and the names and occupations of donors are publicly available via the Federal Elections Commission website. You can learn how to look them up for yourself here.
Congressional reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg asked her Twitter followers whether or not the National Republican Congressional Committee was being “unfair” in attacking Lucy McBath, a House Democrat whose son was murdered by a racist, for “politicizing” the tragedies in El Paso and Dayton. As Stolberg indicated by deleting the tweet, there is an obvious answer to this question.
An article on Tuesday about a 1996 law meant to protect young internet companies from liability misidentified the law that protects hate speech. It is the First Amendment, not Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The error was repeated in the headline.
Deputy editor Jonathan Weisman did a bad tweet implying Justice Democrats were targeting black members of Congress, without disclosing that the challenger to Rep. Joyce Beatty, attorney Morgan Harper, is also black. When the candidate pointed this out, Weisman responded to this in the most petulant way possible. After receiving a flood of criticism, he emailed one of his critics, author and contributing Times opinion writer Roxane Gay, and demanded an apology. He also emailed her assistant demanding an apology, and also emailed her publisher demanding an apology. In these emails, Weisman said that he has “written off Twitter,” which, judging by his past statements, is nowhere even close to true. The New York Times correction desk regrets Weisman’s sweaty attempt to dig himself out of a hole.
Following a horrible headline we ran earlier this week, executive editor Dean Baquet did a round of interviews to clean up the mess. In a conversation with Columbia Journalism Review, Baquet correctly identified that the Times is not an “opposition party” to Donald Trump but failed to note that no one actually wants them to be that—just an actual news outlet that reports the facts of the situation regardless of whether or not they make the White House desk’s sources uncomfortable.
Speaking with the Atlantic, Baquet wrongfully compared Trump to “every politician,” such as the governor of Maine, whom Baquet wrongfully identified as a “he.” While it’s true that every politician “obfuscates” and “exaggerates,” Baquet failed to note that essentially everything that comes out of Trump’s mouth is a lie, and worse, those lies are usually aimed at racial, religious, and ethnic groups that Trump does not like. Relatedly, Baquet did a poor job explaining why the Times twists itself into a pretzel not to call Trump a “racist” in news stories. Just say the word. It’s a fact.