The Washington Examiner, a beltway publication with a conservative disposition well documented by Media Matters' Terry Krepel, is in hot water today for correcting a story about the saga of Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC) that initially noted Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) too had an affair.
The story initially read (emphasis added):
Rep. Roy Blunt, the former House Majority Leader who is now a GOP candidate for governor (sic) in Missouri, is no stranger to scandal, having gone through an affair, a public divorce and remarriage under the scrutiny of the press.
The story now reads:
Rep. Roy Blunt, the former House Majority Leader who is now a GOP candidate for governor in Missouri, is no stranger to scandal, having gone through a public divorce and remarriage under the scrutiny of the press.
So, why was the story changed when it is demonstrably true that Blunt did have an affair with a tobacco lobbyist who would go on to become his current wife?
Confronted by the progressive blogosphere and folks on Twitter, Charlie Spiering, The Examiner's online community manager, posted the following on his Twitter profile:
A "correction"? For something that's true? We've seen a lot here at Media Matters but this takes the wedding cake.
By the way, it's nice to know the Examiner apparently has a policy of not letting its readers know when a story has been corrected. You'd think they would at least put something at the end of the article noting what the error was and that it's been fixed. But, I guess since there was no error this is to be expected?
From a June 24 Examiner.com article:
Right wing talker Michael Savage vowed yesterday during his broadcast that he will retaliate against media watchdog Media Matters for America by posting pictures and "pertinent information" about the organization's staff on his website. He made the comment almost in passing during one of his infamous rants, but did not explain what he expected his followers known as the "Savage Nation" to do with the information.
Against this backdrop the threat to post pictures and personal information about media watchdogs as a response to criticism can legitimately be perceived as a threat. Michael Savage may be famous for brash talk and incendiary language, but recent history must be taken into account as his "Savage Nation" may take the talker's inflammatory posting as marching orders to take action against his enemies.
From the June 23 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
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Numerous media figures have pointed to a sentence from a 2001 speech by Sonia Sotomayor to characterize her or her comments as being "racist" while ignoring the point of Sotomayor's speech, which undercuts their criticisms.
Some media figures have postulated that if a white male or a conservative had made the equivalent of Sonia Sotomayor's "wise Latina" remark, they would be branded a racist, "run out of town," "properly banished from polite society," or "railroaded off the [judicial] bench."
Numerous media figures have cited anonymous smears of Sonia Sotomayor's intellect and temperament reported by The New Republic's Jeffrey Rosen, though Rosen has admitted he had neither read enough of her opinions nor spoken to enough of her supporters to form a fair assessment of her.
Numerous conservative media figures have misrepresented remarks Judge Sonia Sotomayor made during a speech at Berkeley in 2001 to smear her as a racist and a bigot.
Terry Krepel, a senior web editor at Media Matters and founder and editor of ConWebWatch, has a great piece up at Huffington Post about how the Washington Examiner is driven by its right-wing tilt.
Here's just a taste:
In early February, Washington Examiner editor Stephen G. Smith gushed over his new chief political correspondent, Byron York, calling him "a prototype of the modern journalist, equally at home in print, on television and on the Web."
One word not uttered by Smith, however, was "conservative" -- as in the political orientation of York's former employer, the National Review. Indeed, York has regularly peddled conservative misinformation from his National Review perch.
York is one of the latest manifestations of the rightward skew of the Examiner, a free tabloid daily created four years ago when conservative billionaire Philip Anschutz took over a chain of suburban papers and refashioned them after the publication he owns in San Francisco -- an interesting move since Anschutz himself hasn't talked to the media in decades.
The Examiner has had a conservative skew from its inception, as exemplified by its early hiring of Bill Sammon, a former Washington Times staffer who penned several books laudatory of George W. Bush and his presidency even while serving as a White House correspondent. Sammon moved last year to Fox News, but he left no ideological vacuum behind.
Ostensible "news" positions at the Examiner have become increasingly stocked with opinion-minded right-wingers -- for instance, Matthew Sheffield, executive editor of the conservative blog NewsBusters, is managing editor of the Examiner's website, and Chris Stirewalt, who has been lauded for his "outspoken conservative perspective," is political editor.
Be sure to check out the entire piece.
The White House released a series of statements, reportedly initiated by new press secretary Tony Snow, attacking specific media reports and editorials as misleading. Conservatives in the media have touted the statements as indicative of a new willingness on the part of the White House communications office, led by Snow, to call the press on its misinformation. But Media Matters for America has found that, of the six "Setting the Record Straight" releases issued from May 8 to May 11, at least four are highly misleading.