Tags: ny | times | acorn | coverage

N.Y. Times Admits It Blew ACORN Story

Sunday, 27 Sep 2009 09:20 PM

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The New York Times public editor conceded Sunday that the nation’s premiere newspaper had failed to cover the story of ACORN’s many problems with voter fraud and allegations of prostitution.

Clark Hoyt raised the question in his column of whether the paper's failure to cover a leading story in the conservative press — one that involved an organization President Barack Obama was long affiliated with — was because of its liberal politics. But he quotes editors who deny that's the case.

“It was an intriguing story: employees of a controversial outfit, long criticized by Republicans as corrupt, appearing to engage in outrageous, if not illegal, behavior,” Hoyt wrote in a column Sunday. “An ACORN worker in Baltimore was shown telling the 'prostitute' that she could describe herself to tax authorities as an 'independent artist' and claim 15-year-old prostitutes, supposedly illegal immigrants, as dependents.

“But for days, as more videos were posted and government authorities rushed to distance themselves from ACORN, The Times stood still. Its slow reflexes — closely following its slow response to a controversy that forced the resignation of Van Jones, a White House adviser — suggested that it has trouble dealing with stories arising from the polemical world of talk radio, cable television and partisan blogs,” Hoyt continued. “Some stories, lacking facts, never catch fire. But others do, and a newspaper like The Times needs to be alert to them or wind up looking clueless or, worse, partisan itself.”

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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