Following up on this post, I have sent the following email to the New York Times corrections desk, with a copy to Arthur Brisbane, the paper’s Public Editor:
I am writing to request a correction relating to an editorial that was published on March 30, 2011. I wrote generally about the editorial, which I read online, here: [URL omitted]
The specific statement with respect to which I am requesting a correction is as follows:
“[F]reshman Mike Pompeo of Kansas [is] dubbed the Congressman from Koch for championing the conservative agenda of the billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David. They contributed handsomely — $80,000 worth — to Mr. Pompeo’s campaign kitty.”
That statement, taken from a left-wing web site, is incorrect. Koch Industries, Inc. is one of the largest employers in Kansas’s 4th Congressional District, and a number of Koch employees contributed to Mr. Pompeo’s campaign. (I assume some contributed to his opponent, as well.) As you probably know, FEC records include information about each contributor’s employment. The $80,000 figure was arrived at by adding up all contributors to Pompeo’s campaign with respect to whom the name “Koch” appeared anywhere. Thus, the $80,000 includes contributions from anyone who works for Koch as well as, for example, a contribution from one individual who works for an accounting firm, one of whose partners has the last name “Koch.”
FEC records indicate that, contrary to the Times’s statement that Charles and David Koch “contributed handsomely–$80,000 worth–to Mr. Pompeo’s campaign kitty,” Charles Koch contributed $2,400, while David Koch is not reported to have made any contribution at all.
I would appreciate it if you would see that the Times corrects this error. For ease of reference, here is a link to the relevant FEC information: [URL omitted]
I also wonder whether you can comment on the fact-checking that goes into NY Times editorials. Do your editorialists really rely on left-wing web sites for their facts, without making any independent effort to verify them? In this instance, FEC records are readily available. It would have taken less than ten minutes for your editorialists to learn that the $80,000 figure they got from a disreputable web site was not only incorrect, but apparently off by more than 3,200 percent. Is it really possible that no fact-checking takes place with respect to NY Times editorials?
I will post any response that we receive.