February 24, 2004

THE NEW YORK TIMES has issued a correction on the Meagher story, mentioned below:

An article on Sunday about people who supported George Bush in the 2000 election and are considering a vote for the Democratic candidate this year referred incorrectly to George Meagher, who voiced dissatisfaction with the administration. As noted on Feb. 3 in an earlier account of his comments in the same interview, for an article about veterans leaning toward Senator John Kerry, Mr. Meagher is an independent, not a Republican.

A bit devoid of, um, context, isn’t it? As Kaus says, “treats the symptom, ignores the underlying disease.”

UPDATE: Backstory here, at the CJR campaign blog. What bothers me isn’t so much the quote-recycling as the way the relabeling of Meagher from “independent” to “Republican” suited the general anti-Bush slant of the second story.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Oxblog, inspired by the above, notes a photo issue:

If you look at today’s coverage of the Haitian uprising in the WaPo and NYT, you’ll notice that both have photos of the same man-in-the-street, Jean-Bernard Prevalis. According to the photo credits, they were taken by different photographers.

Nothing dishonest there, exactly. But it reminds me of a storm in New Orleans a few years back, where all the networks showed a picture of the same downed tree — which a friend there told me was pretty much the only downed tree. Is it emblematic? Or just visually dramatic? It’s hard to tell, and yet it matters, even when there’s not an agenda. And doubly so when there is one.