Jeffrey Rosen/TNR credibility watch: It's gone

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

To recap:

On May 4, The New Republic posted Jeffrey Rosen's "case against Sotomayor." In it, Rosen cropped a 1995 quote by a federal judge, leaving out the judge's description of Sotomayor as "smart," and portrayed the quote as an example of someone describing Sotomayor as "not that smart." Rosen, in short, misleadingly cropped the quote and portrayed it as meaning the opposite of what it actually meant.

On May 5, The New Yorker's Amy Davidson pointed out the distortion.

On May 7, I noted the distortion and wrote that TNR owes Sotomayor a correction.

On May 8, I again highlighted the distorted quote.

And again on May 11:

The New Republic owes Sonia Sotomayor, Jose Cabranes, and its readers a correction. As of today, May 11 -- a full week later -- it has not yet posted one.

Everybody, including reporters, makes mistakes. That's no reason to never trust them again. But when those mistakes are pointed out, and they refuse to correct clear errors, they sacrifice credibility. Perhaps even worse, they demonstrate that they simply don't care about their credibility.

Now, maybe Rosen still wasn't aware of the error. Maybe he doesn't read The New Yorker. (Doubtful: he's a law professor and writer, a DC resident and a Harvard grad. And he's written for The New Yorker.) Maybe he hadn't seen our posts about the error. (Certainly possible, but Rosen did respond to a seperate Media Matters criticism of his article in a blog post here.)

So on May 12, I emailed Rosen, and pointed the error out to him.

Two days later, I have not heard back. So it's probably time to close the books on this little saga; TNR and Jeffrey Rosen clearly don't care about their credibility. Good to know.

Supreme Court Nominations, Sotomayor Nomination
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