NY Times Publishes, Then Retracts, Fake News

On February 28, the New York Times magazine published a long, dark essay by left-winger Emily Bazelon on the prospects for President Trump’s Department of Justice–or, as the Times headline put it, “Department of Justification.” The article, which focuses on Jeff Sessions, Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, isn’t worth reading. It exemplifies the far-left hysteria with which we are all too familiar.

A prominent theme is that Republicans don’t care about truth:

Why would the Trump administration paint a picture so starkly at odds with reality? It’s simple: A vision of the nation besieged provides clear justification for policies that will advance Sessions, Bannon and Miller’s divisive nationalism.

So it must have been embarrassing when, this morning, the Times had to admit that Bazelon’s article included an important piece of fake news. This is today’s correction:

An article on March 5 about the Department of Justice included outdated statistics. It is not the case that non-Muslim extremists have killed nearly twice as many Americans as radical Muslims since Sept. 11, 2001, according to the New America Foundation. That was true until the mass shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., and Orlando, Fla. Radical Muslims have now killed nearly twice as many Americans as non-Muslim extremists.

The original statistic was silly on several grounds. It started on the day after the September 11 Islamic terror attacks killed 3,000 Americans, which is absurd. And it depended on how a liberal group classified violence as “extremist” as opposed to merely criminal. But Bazelon’s citation of this old liberal chestnut was sadly out of date, and her statement was unquestionably false.

It is interesting that if you read the article as corrected, it is hard to tell where the error was. I think it must have been in this paragraph, the only one that mentions terrorism:

Why would the Trump administration paint a picture so starkly at odds with reality? It’s simple: A vision of the nation besieged provides clear justification for policies that will advance Sessions, Bannon and Miller’s divisive nationalism. In the administration’s early moves, we can already see the contours beginning to take shape. An executive order presented as an emergency measure to protect the country from terrorists winds up barring immigrants coming here to study or work from seven countries that have not been a source of terrorist attacks in the United States since Sept. 11. Another order refers to immigrants who “pose a risk to public safety” and then makes millions of the undocumented people in the country a priority for deportation. Impending catastrophe grants the president broad powers, and those powers are used broadly.

Bazelon’s fake news has been seamlessly airbrushed away, in a paragraph that begins by accusing the Trump administration of being “starkly at odds with reality.” Actually, despite the correction, the paragraph is still wrong. Bazelon’s statement that none of the seven countries covered by President Trump’s original travel order has “been a source of terrorist attacks…since September 11”–a liberal canard that we have seen repeated many times–is false, too.

See, for example, Dahir Adan, a Somalian refugee born in a camp in Kenya who stabbed ten people at a shopping mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The Conservative Treehouse has a good summary of the connections of these seven countries to terrorist attacks in the U.S., which, thankfully, have generally been thwarted.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for the Times to issue another fake news correction, however.

Responses

-->