Issa demands front-page NYT retraction after ‘error-ridden’ ‘hit piece’

House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa is demanding that The New York Times publish a front-page retraction for an “error-ridden front page story” it published about him on Monday. In the article, Times reporter Eric Lichtblau attempted to connect Issa’s private business interests with his public service as a congressman.

With one exception, the Times has not corrected or retracted any of the errors Issa’s office publicly identified almost immediately after the story ran. On Friday morning Issa’s office blasted out a lengthy evidence-packed release alleging that nearly everything Lichtblau wrote isn’t true.

Issa had pointed to what he said were errors beginning with the story’s first sentence, which said Issa’s Southern California “gleaming office building” overlooks a golf course. Issa’s office publicly stated on Monday that the office the Times referred to doesn’t overlook a golf course. Issa’s team subsequently released a video showing that the Times’ characterization was false.

Without citing any sources, Lichtblau also contended that DEI Holdings, a car alarm company Issa founded, is a “major supplier” to Toyota. He asserted that Issa went “easy” on Toyota during a Congressional investigation into the company’s vehicles’ safety because of the relationship Lichtblau claimed exists between DEI and Toyota.

Issa and Toyota have both now publicly stated that DEI, also known as Directed Electronics, is not a “major supplier” to Toyota, nor is it a direct supplier at all. According to a story by Heritage Foundation reporter Lachlan Markay, Toyota said it’s possible that some independently owned and operated dealerships use DEI products. Issa and Toyota say it’s inaccurate, though, to write that Toyota and DEI are financially connected.

Lichtblau’s story also failed to inform readers that Issa no longer has a financial interest in DEI.

The Times also alleged foul play on Issa’s part because he withdrew much of his family foundation’s assets from the stock market several months before it crashed. Lichtblau wrote that Issa’s foundation made a nearly 1,900 percent return on its investment in less than a year. Issa’s office originally contended that this conclusion was wildly inaccurate.

“In one 2008 sale, months before the stock market crashed, his family foundation earned $357,000 on an initial investment of less than $19,000 — a return of nearly 1,900 percent in just seven months, the foundation reported to the Internal Revenue Service,” Lichtblau wrote. “It reported acquiring the security, then known as AIM International Small Company Fund, at a cost basis representing a tiny fraction of the market value. In addition, Mr. Issa sold at least $1 million in personal holdings in the same fund that year but was not required to report what he paid.”

Lichtblau and the Times have stuck to their reporting, refusing to issue a correction even after Issa’s office published a document proving his family foundation’s initial investment was $500,000, not “less than $19,000.” The document shows that Issa’s family foundation actually lost more than $125,000 from the investment.

Lichtblau also wrote that a medical complex Issa purchased in 2008 appreciated in value from $10.3 million to $16.6 million “at least in part because of the government-sponsored road work” the Congressman supported. If true, this assertion would mean Issa’s private business interests benefited from his actions as a congressman. Issa’s office released documentation this week, however, proving that he purchased the property for $16.6 million — almost exactly the same amount as its current value.

  • Anonymous

    I wonder if you would think that Fast and Furious investigation is a waste of money if it were one of YOUR loved ones killed by guns your own government provided.  I, for one, want to know if our own attorney general approved this and if Obama knew about it.  Had this been under a Republican president, the liberals would already be calling for impeachment without any investigation and the attorney general would already have been forced to resign.

  • jmk1502

    A member of Congress thinks they can censor the media? Who exactly does Rep. Darrell McCarthy Issa think he is? The NYT can print whatever they wish within regulations, just like Fixed Noise can trumpet their biased “Fair and Balanced” reporting to their heart’s content.

    • relayer10

      Actually, they can print whatever they like, unless it violates law. Right now, there are no regulations. The Obama team, and Free Press are working diligently to take away as many free speech protections as possible via regulation (Robert W. McChesney- check him out yourself). Is a self avowed socialist/communist. And co-founder of Free Press, which advocates anything BUT a free press. Like Media Matters…not even close to objective, or accurate. Free Press and Media Matters are actually in favor of censorship…if they get to be the censor. This is NOT censoring…this is presenting counter proof that the story is in accurate.

      Right now, they can print anything that is not slanderous, libel, or seditious. Same as Fox, NBC, CBS, and the myriad newspapers out there. 

      The argument here is libel, and maybe slander regarding Issa. If the claims in the NYT are false, a possible case. Because of the “public official” standard claims like these are hard to fight. But there have been some successful challenges won over the years. Carol Burnett won one several years ago. Most don’t try that route, because it’s expensive- and takes years. Usually the media outlet checks it’s facts and just issues an apology to avoid costly litigation. Especially if it is apparent that they will ultimately lose money or prestige due to inaccuracies. Which is what Issa is offering to make matters “right”.

      Based on Issa’s presented empirical proof- pretty apparent that Issa will win in the end.

  • Anonymous

    Issa is the enemy and has to neutralized.  Lies from the New York Times. What a surprise, opps let us not forget Alinsky’s rule : “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it”. In Alinsky’s brand of social warfare, the ends justify the means. These are the rules the D’s have used for over the last 30 years to destroy R’s. Think Palin and her kids, Newt Gingrich and anyone that gets in the D’s way are the targets, MSMedia cohorts are the weapon of choice, Soros is the brains behind the assault on R’s that is coming. Just think, someone has an add to look for women and Gov. Perry. Again I say In Alinsky’s brand of social warfare, the ends justify any means. No rules left my friends. Anything goes.

  • Anonymous

    What’s the surprise, truthful reporting left the New York Times years ago.Eric Lichtblau is just an inspiring Jason Blair. The New York Times motto should be “Why let facts get in the way of a good story”.