Update on the New York Times/Ron Fournier Epic Fail [Updated]

I wrote here about one of the great howlers in recent journalistic history: Gail Collins, a columnist for the New York Times, wrote a hit piece on Scott Walker, the centerpiece of which was the claim that Walker was to blame for teacher layoffs in Wisconsin in 2010. Oops. Walker didn’t take office until 2011. Ron Fournier, who still hasn’t apologized for lying about George Bush, piled on with this obnoxious tweet:

Within hours after Collins’s column appeared, her blunder was all over Twitter. Now, two days later, she has failed to make any apology or respond in any way. The Times has not yet corrected Collins’s column. Its corrections for yesterday and today–26 in total, the Times makes a lot of mistakes–were the usual combination of the trivial and the weird:

Because of an editing error, an article in some editions last Sunday about Shared Belief’s victory over California Chrome at the San Antonio Stakes referred incorrectly to Shared Belief’s future. He has a higher upside than California Chrome as a racehorse, but not “at stud.” (As a gelding, Shared Belief is castrated and therefore cannot be used in breeding.)

But nothing about the paper’s attempt to smear Scott Walker with a blatant falsehood.

As for Fournier, who unlike Collins is active on Twitter, he issued a weaselly semi-apology for the tone of his original tweet, without acknowledging that he had participated in spreading a lie about Walker:

That’s where it sits as of this moment. The battle over the 2016 election is well underway, and the Democratic Party press is pulling no punches. My guess is that over the next 21 months, we will see open warfare against the Republican Party and its candidates, to an even greater degree than in the past.

UPDATE: The Times has finally appended this correction to Collins’s column:

Correction: February 15, 2015

An earlier version of this column incorrectly stated that teacher layoffs in Milwaukee in 2010 happened because Gov. Scott Walker “cut state aid to education.” The layoffs were made by the city’s school system because of a budget shortfall, before Mr. Walker took office in 2011.

Left unstated is the fact that the correction eliminates the column’s most salient point.

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