From misreporting to no reporting at all, questions keep mounting for the 'paper of record' about their bizarre record of failure on the ACORN story
UPDATED: AP article on decision appears on website...
By Ernest A. Canning on 3/17/2010, 9:05am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

On Wednesday, March 10, 2010 The BRAD BLOG posted breaking coverage about U.S. District Court Judge Nina Gershon’s finding that day, that the Congressional funding ban on ACORN was an unconstitutional bill of attainder. Her finding included an order to resume federal funding to the community group which has been targeted by a years-long GOP smear campaign.

A March 10 AP story covering Judge Gershon's finding appeared in the March 11 edition of the Washington Post.

It's now Wednesday, March 17 --- a full week since the historic ruling was issued by a federal judge (in New York, of all places) yet, not one word about the ruling has appeared in the New York Times, America's so-called "paper of record."

What's wrong with this picture?

[Update 3/19/2010: See "Correction/Clarification" at end of article. The Times appears to have run something on this, at least a version of the AP's coverage, at least on their website, if not in their print editions, after all. See below for more details and one encouraging point to go with it. - BF]

As we now know, the NYTimes has misreported the ACORN "Pimp" Hoax story time and again since last fall, yet both their Senior Editor for Standards, Greg Brock, as seen in emails published by The BRAD BLOG, and their Public Editor (ombudsman) Clark Hoyt, as seen in emails also published by The BRAD BLOG, have both refused to issue or recommend corrections despite being shown the gross, factual inaccuracies in the paper's coverage.

Furthermore, Gershon's decision last week heavily referenced a report [PDF] by the former MA Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, released on December 7 of last year, finding no criminality by ACORN workers as seen in the highly-edited, heavily-overdubbed, secretly-taped videos released last year by James O'Keefe and Andrew Breitbart. The publication of those videos led to the unconstitutional legislation undone last week by Gershon. Yet the New York Times has never so much as mentioned the Harshbarger report in its pages either.

So, again, I ask: what's wrong with this picture?

* * *

Correction/Clarification by Brad, 3/19/10: Two readers ("Dot" and "Sam Bogorad") have posted links in comments to an AP story, posted at the website covering Gershon's decision.

That March 10 AP report did not show up in searches of the Times website, done separately by both Ernie and myself, at the time our article was published (a week after the decision). Nor did it show up as having been published in the Times up in a separate search of LexisNexis also done prior to publication of this article.

It remains unclear whether the AP report was actually published in the paper edition of the paper at all. A search of the March 11, 2010 print version at the Times website, the day it would have run in the paper, returns "0 results". Similar searches for the subsequent day's print versions also appear to return no results.

The AP report, said on the Times website to have been "Published: March 10, 2010 Filed at 9:02 p.m. ET", is the same one that was run at the Washington Post site --- credited there to Larry Neumeister of AP --- as Ernie noted in his article above.

If I can learn more details on if the story was published in the print version and when it was actually posted to the website, and why it hadn't appeared in our separate, independent searches prior to publication, of course, I'll share it here.

As to that AP report itself, eagle-eyed BRAD BLOG commenter "Lora" notes what appears to be new, and encouraging language on this story from the wire service [emphasis added]:

In one video, ACORN employees were shown apparently advising a couple posing as a prostitute and her boyfriend to lie about her profession and launder her earnings;

That's a great improvement over AP's previously inaccurate coverage in which they reported on many occasions --- in stories published by the NYTimes, as we noted when we first began our weeks-long coverage of all of this, (eg. here, here, here and here) --- that O'Keefe "posed as a pimp" in those videos.

It's unclear whether or not AP has issued any corrections, to date, for their previously inaccurate reporting. I'm also trying to see what I can learn there as well. But their new language is certainly an improvement over the old at least! Perhaps, slowly but surely, we're getting somewhere here.

For our part, Ernie's story above was published on March 17th, and the first link to the Times/AP online story was posted yesterday March 18th when both Ernie and myself were separately on the road and off the grid entirely. We both just caught the comments this afternoon, and thus, our correction/clarification was not posted until this afternoon. We regret the unavoidable delay in that, and hope to offer more clarity on the entire situation as soon as (and if) I can find any.