Rule of Law

How the New York Times and Charlie Savage Lie

Today offers a good lesson in the mechanics of how the New York Times twists the truth.  As he often is, today’s truth twister is Charlie Savage. Savage won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on politicization of the Bush DOJ.  He received the resumes of Bush-era DOJ attorney hires in a saga covered numerous times at PJ Media. I cover Savage’s reporting in my book Injustice, and how he failed to mention all of the attorneys hired in the Bush DOJ, but only the ones which fit his narrative.  In contrast, PJ Media did Charlie’s job the right way during the Obama administration. We FOIA’ed ALL of the Obama DOJ hires, and wrote about Every Single One of them here.  The scoreboard: 113 out of 113 hires were leftists or political. Savage only reported on some of the attorneys hired; we reported on all of them.

Savage today provides America an example how the New York Times lies. Savage was in Austin, as I was, last Tuesday to cover Eric Holder’s speech. I counted at one point 127 people at the rally held by True the Vote, where I spoke. The story could have been written by Eric Holder’s Press Harpy at the Office of Public Affairs. Then again, there isn’t much daylight between the New York Times and the government these days.

Here is how Savage portrays the 127 who came to the True the Vote rally:

Outside, half a dozen protesters waited within shouting distance of his motorcade, and a phalanx of police officers waited to escort him to the airport. But as Mr. Holder lingered inside, the protesters eventually drifted away.  (emphasis added).

Of course, Savage might claim he was talking about the protesters after the speech. Why?  Aren’t the 127 before Holder’s speech voicing substantive opposition to Holder the more worthy mention? It would be if the New York Times cared about objectivity, which of course it does not.  Indeed the Times runs a photo of a small portion of the large rally.  And even this photo  has 18 people in it, not “half a dozen.”  Savage wants you to think six people protested Holder instead of 127.

Consider Savage’s second instance of journalistic mischief this week. On Tuesday, I watched Savage from three feet away interview Catherine Englebrecht of True the Vote.  Totally unnecessary disclosure: True the Vote is a client.  He asked Englebrecht if she had ever personally witnessed voter fraud or voter impersonation at the polls.  Englebrecht answered that she did not personally witness it, but she managed a program that documented dozens of instances of illegalities at the polls, and more than one instance of people voting multiple times, under assumed identities with multiple voter registration cards. How did Savage report Englebrecht’s answer?

Such problems, Ms. Engelbrecht said, included people showing up at polls without any identification, or showing up with multiple voter registration cards in different names, and being allowed to vote; she said she had not witnessed such irregularities during her own service as a volunteer at polling places, but had heard about them happening from other poll watchers.

Savage presents her answer as if it contains an urban myth.  Savage fails to note that True the Vote produced business records and voluminous written reports of the eyewitnesses to this voter fraud.

Of course, we have come to expect bias and errors from the New York Times.  Savage’s own story has this confession of error at the end:

Correction: December 13, 2011, Tuesday

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: A previous version of this article misstated when Robert Driscoll worked for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division; it was in the administration of George W. Bush, not Ronald Reagan’s. (And a previous correction misstated that it was the elder George Bush’s administration.)

But wait… when you read the article, there is no mention of Robert Driscoll.  A mistaken correction, perhaps?  Not really.  You see, Robert Driscoll appeared in the original version of the story.  Adding the Englebrecht quote required Savage to purge Driscoll because we know Savage can’t bear to have more than one source that opposes his own world view.

One suspects that even if his managing editor Dean Baquet knew about Savage’s errors and false statements, he wouldn’t care.  After all, accuracy at the New York Times is no longer as important as the agenda.  Three cheers for Charlie and a job well done.

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