The New York Times reported Monday the outlet had “obtained” an unpublished government draft of a climate change report some feared President Trump would suppress, but it turned out the draft has been available online since January.
In light of this oversight, which TheNYT has since issued a correction on, here is a list of the biggest errors, inaccuracies, blunders, misrepresentations and general failures from the paper of record so far in 2016.
1) Correction On Claim That 17 Intel Agencies “Agree” On Russia
In a June report, TheNYT regurgitated the baseless claim that 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agreed Russia was responsible for meddling in the 2016 election. The report in question was published roughly one month after The Daily Caller News Foundation fact check team had thoroughly debunked the claim. (RELATED: The Media Perpetuated A Clinton Lie For 9 Months)
TheNYT and other media outlets parroted the claim after Hillary Clinton used it in a presidential debate. Almost a year later, after the claim was debunked in multiple high profile settings, TheNYT issued a correction noting that only four intelligence agencies came to a consensus on Russian meddling.
2) Parody Twitter Account Mistaken For Official Account Of The North Korean Government
NYT reporters incorrectly attributed a tweet mocking American military efforts to the North Korean government, when the tweet was actually the product of an account dedicated to parodying North Korean news.
The DPRK News Service claims to be the “official News feed of Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea,” but the account is run by two Americans — Patrick and Derrick, according to The Washington Post.
TheNYT later issued a correction acknowledging they fell for the parody.
3) Story On Food Stamps And Soda Flubbed — Twice
TheNYT misreported data from a government study on what people buy on food stamps, then updated the story with an additional error without issuing a correction. The central claim of the January story, headlined, “In the Shopping Cart of a Food Stamp Household: Lots of Soda,” was that the Department of Agriculture has a report showing food stamps recipients spend nearly 10 cents of every dollar on soft drinks. But that number is almost double what the report actually said.
TheNYT later updated the story, without issuing an note of correction, after a University of Arkansas professor pointed out the error on Twitter.
The updated version, however, still incorrectly stated that soft drinks are not included in the “sweetened beverages” category. “SNAP households spent 9.3 percent of their grocery budgets on sweetened beverages alone, not including soft drinks,” the article said. This is incorrect, as soft drinks are indeed included in the “sweetened beverage” category in the USDA’s full report.
4) NYT Reporter Forced To Correct Statement On Attorney General Jeff Sessions
New York Times editor Jonathan Weisman was forced to retract a June tweet insinuating Sessions was corrupt.
Weisman asserted former FBI Director James Comey testified that Sessions asked him directly to call the Russia probe “a matter.” But Comey had actually testified that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch — not Sessions — had approached him with that request.
Weisman’s tweet no longer appears on his Twitter page, but he sent another tweet shortly after noon in which he reported the news that the request came from Lynch.
The tweet makes no mention of his previous mix-up.
5) Correction To Editorial Attacking Sarah Palin With Debunked Conspiracy Theory
After a man shot up a GOP congressional baseball practice in May, TheNYT used a debunked conspiracy theory to attack former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in an editorial. The paper baselessly linked her campaign messaging to the shooting of Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords in 2011.
“In 2011, when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl, the link to political incitement was clear,” the editorial board wrote. “Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs.”
Not only is the correction baseless, but the description of the map was inaccurate as well. The map in question depicted Democratic districts in crosshairs — not Democratic candidates.
After substantial public backlash, TheNYT heavily edited the piece and added a correction: “An editorial on Thursday about the shooting of Representative Steve Scalise incorrectly stated that a link existed between political rhetoric and the 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords. In fact, no such link was established. The editorial also incorrectly described a map distributed by a political action committee before that shooting. It depicted electoral districts, not individual Democratic lawmakers, beneath stylized cross hairs.”
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