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New York Times Prints Third Correction In Issa Story

Reut Cohen |
August 27, 2011 | 5:44 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Rep. Darrell Issa (Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons)
Rep. Darrell Issa (Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons)
The New York Times issued additional corrections Friday, acknowledging mistakes made in an article ("A Businessman in Congress Helps His District and Himself") about Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) that ran in the front page of the newspaper Aug. 15.

The latest correction suggests the article relied on "erroneous information" relating to the sale of a mutual fund in which facts were corrected with public "redactions" by Issa.

The 2,700 word article written by Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Eric Lichtblau suggests that Issa's holdings have soared due to actions he's taken in an official capacity.

Issa's communication director, Frederick Hill, sent a letter to the New York Times in which he demanded a full retraction.

Here’s an excerpt from Hill's letter to Dean Baquet, editor with the New York Times:

As Congressman Darrell Issa’s Director of Communications, The New York Times’ acknowledgement of two more critical errors in its front page article of August 15 in addition to a previous error corrected on August 16 are steps in the right direction. The new acknowledgement of these false assertions about enormous profits from the sale of a mutual fund and the appreciation of a commercial real estate property owned by Rep. Issa fully removes all examples cited in the article as evidence that the "congressman’s government actions [help] to make a rich man even richer" and that values of his holdings have "soared" due to his official actions.

The letter, which calls the article "deeply flawed," also calls into question the Times' conduct and the objectivity of Lichtblau. Hill cites Lee Fang of the Center for American Progress who raised concerns on the social network website Twitter that Lichtblau may have taken "without proper attribution items [Fang] had previously written about on the blog ThinkProgress." 

In a blog posted on Issa’s official page Tuedsay, Issa's office compared Lichtblau to former New York Times reporter Jayson Blair, who in 2003 resigned following evidence of plagiarism and fabrication in his articles.


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