Wash­ing­ton Post is­sues cor­rec­tion that re­porter vowed would never hap­pen

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - BY JOSEPH CURL

In to­day’s weird me­dia age, up is down and left is right. The sun may or may not rise in the east. Fact and fic­tion are fun­gi­ble, and the fun­gus among us is grow­ing. Take this odd story: James O’Keefe, the con­ser­va­tive su­per­sleuth who re­cently ex­posed CNN with a se­ries of un­der­cover videos show­ing a pro­ducer and a lib­eral con­trib­u­tor call­ing the Rus­sia col­lu­sion story “bullsh*t” and a “noth­ing burger,” got into a tiff with a re­porter for The Wash­ing­ton Post.

Be­cause The Post is far left, re­porter Paul Farhi went on the at­tack. In a story head­lined “What the lat­est James O’Keefe video leaves out,” Mr. Farhi sought to dis­credit the dev­as­tat­ing re­ports.

Mr. Farhi said Mr. O’Keefe’s video of the CNN pro­ducer call­ing the Rus­sia story “bullsh*t” didn’t “dis­close that he is based in At­lanta — not in Wash­ing­ton or New York, where most of CNN’s cov­er­age of na­tional af­fairs and pol­i­tics are pro­duced.”

Well, Mr. O’Keefe’s video did dis­close that, ex­plic­itly stat­ing that the pro­ducer is based in At­lanta.

So, a reader, Ja­sun Doyle, emailed Mr. Farhi to point out the er­ror:

“In your ar­ti­cle ‘What the lat­est James O’Keefe video leaves out,’ you ex­plic­itly lie and state that James O’Keefe never dis­closes that the pro­ducer is based in At­lanta, which is a BLA­TANT lie. In the in­tro­duc­tion in the CNN Part 1 video from James O’Keefe he ex­plic­itly states that the pro­ducer is based in At­lanta !!!!!!!!!!!!!” Yeah, Mr. Doyle went there. “So why on Earth would you lie so ex­plic­itly & defini­tively to your read­ers?” Mr. Doyle asked.

Mr. Farhi got his undies in a wad, fir­ing back:

“A lie? That’s an amaz­ingly ballsy thing to say. You mean I knew it was wrong and wrote it any­way? How would you even know that? I might have been in er­ror (I wasn’t) but you don’t know what the hell you’re talk­ing about if you ac­cuse me of ly­ing. Apol­o­gize or drop dead.”

So, Mr. Farhi dou­bled down. He wasn’t wrong. His story was per­fectly fine.

Then Mr. O’Keefe and Mr. Farhi got into a tiff.

Mr. Farhi tweeted, “A few im­por­tant omis­sions in @JamesOKeef­eIII’s lat­est video” and posted a link to his story.

Mr. O’Keefe shot back: “Not even close to fair cov­er­age — you didn’t ‘try.’ You ig­nored the point! Also, if ‘ly­ing is wrong,’ when will you re­tract your piece?”

Even­tu­ally, Mr. Farhi tweeted, “Sorry to dis­ap­point you, folks. There is no re­trac­tion com­ing. Your tweet ap­pears to be fake news.”

But it wasn’t. The At­lanta dis­clo­sure was clear, so why not sim­ply cor­rect the er­ror?

All that was at the end of June. On Mon­day The Post fi­nally cor­rected the ob­vi­ous mis­take.

“Ed­i­tor’s Note: This story has been up­dated to re­move the as­ser­tion that the video in ques­tion did not say that su­per­vis­ing pro­ducer John Boni­field is based in At­lanta. In fact, the video says: ‘I’d like to in­tro­duce you to CNN su­per­vis­ing pro­ducer John Boni­field in At­lanta,’ which is CNN’s head­quar­ters and is where many of its jour­nal­ists are based.”

Mr. O’Keefe couldn’t re­sist and had a bit of fun, vow­ing to frame the cor­rec­tion. “Or­der­ing the frame now, putting this on our wall next to other re­trac­tions. Have you no shame?

Again, just weird that the on­cere­spected Post wouldn’t cor­rect a clear er­ror. But then, ev­ery­thing’s changed now, and who’s to say what’s right and wrong? There is no right or wrong any­more. Joseph Curl has cov­ered pol­i­tics for 25 years, in­clud­ing 12 years as White House correspond­ent at The Wash­ing­ton Times. He can be reached at [email protected] com and on Twit­ter via @josephcurl.

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