It's not like we don't try to warn people.
Media Matters has been fundamentally clear and consistent about this point: Do not trust Andrew Breitbart. Period. Yet journalists keep making that same mistake over and over. The latest was the New York Times, and now the paper's collecting the lumps to show for it.
Last week the daily published a rather puffy profile of the right-wing writer. As Media Matters quickly noted, the Times article include a key error; an error that came about when the newspaper trusted that Breitbart was telling the truth about his Shirley Sherrod debacle
Breitbart was not.
Late last week the Times corrected its Breitbart-fed Sherrod error. But there's an important point that blogger Brad Friedman highlighted last night. In publishing its correction, and specifically how an NAACP audience responded to a tale Sherrod told, the Times amendment conceded that Breitbart misled the paper. But if you now read the body of the story that's been changed to reflect the correction, the Times seems to go out of its way to suggest Breitbart had not misled the newspaper.
How can both scenarios be accurate?
See for yourself. From the original article [emphasis added]:
Defending himself, Mr. Breitbart said that the video came to him already edited, and that the crowd applauded when Ms. Sherrod said she did not help the man.
From the correction:
In a short video clip of the speech, which Mr. Breitbart released as evidence that Ms. Sherrod acknowledged not helping a white farmer, some audience members nodded and murmured in apparent approval; they did not applaud, although Mr. Breitbart stated that they did.
From the updated text in the article:
Mr. Breitbart said that the video came to him already edited, and that some audience members nodded and murmured in apparent approval when Ms. Sherrod said she did not help the man.
Wait a minute. Either Breitbart lied and told the newspaper that the NAACP audience "applauded" upon hearing Sherrod's tale, as the Times first claimed, or Breitbart said the NAACP audience "nodded and murmured in approval."
Which one was it? And why, if in its correction the Times admits it was the former, does the body of the story now suggest it was the latter?