[This item was originally posted to The Media Drop]
It’s been chimed in on from a few places, including Instapundit and Buzz Machine (via Instapundit…), but I think this is worth making a bigger deal of. The New York Times quoted a gentleman named George Meagher in this article on February 3rd, stating he was an Independent. Yesterday, the Times quoted Meagher again, but now he’s a Republican. The quote seems re-jiggered to fit the story, and some other things seem paraphrased to make do as well.
Now I don’t really have a problem with using someone as a source multiple times, but when 1) the quote seems tinkered with and 2) you’ve changed some facts about a person in only a couple weeks’ time, that’s just not right. It’s not the first time that something like this has come up – and as much as I don’t agree with her on most topics, Ann Coulter seems to have it right when referring to Greg Packer, who, for a while, was the Times’ regular quote machine. (scroll about 3/4 down for his name)
Buzz Machine’s Jeff Jarvis has actually sent an email directly to Mr. Meagher, and we’ll see if he gets a response on his dealings with the Times’ reporter. It doesn’t seem to be who takes the reins at the paper, something keeps coming out. Has the Times been “tainted” so much that it won’t come clean until there is some sort of witch-hunt type action, or is it just a few people who seem to be causing problems for the greater group? I’d have to lean towards the latter, but for the Times to be held at the regard that it is and continue to have problems such as these is just crazy, in my estimation. As an optimist, I would have to give the Times the benefit of the doubt – as a realist, I see that there are problems deeper than what has come out so far. If you’re the publication that many people consider part of their morning ritual, you have to be on the top of your game at all times.