It would appear that Madame Mrs. Secretary President-Elect (Almost) Hillz R. Clinton is a tad miffed that the New York Times published a completely not true in any way whatsoever story about her last week, gosh, can’t imagine why! First, the Times reported that the Department of Justice is maybe going to do a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton using her personal email to forward classified documents to her yoga instructor, or something like that. But then the Times very slowly, over several days, changed its story to say OK, there is no criminal referral, and OK, it’s not about Hillary Clinton doing a bad, and OK, those documents weren’t classified at the time, but how were we supposed to know that? What are we, journalists? We’ll try to journalism better next time, maybe, even though we have no idea how we FUBAR’d this story so bad, oh well, shrug, whatcha gonna do?
Turns out, the Hillary Clinton campaign has a suggestion: How about you do your frickin’ job like you are the New York Times, not Dead Breitbart’s Intertubes For Coke-Addled Sobbing Subliterate Keyboard Monkeys? Jennifer Palmieri, communications director for Hillary for America, typed up a little note to Dean Baquet, the wall-punching anger bear executive editor of the Times, and here are some parts we think will especially make you nod along and say, “Um, yeah!”
[W]e remain perplexed by the Times’ slowness to acknowledge its errors after the fact, and some of the shaky justifications that Times’ editors have made.
Us too, considering it took the Times several days to correct its story and post an accurate correction telling its readers how wrong, so wrong, the original story had been. That’s, like, a thousand years in internet time.
I feel obliged to put into context just how egregious an error this story was. The New York Times is arguably the most important news outlet in the world and it rushed to put an erroneous story on the front page charging that a major candidate for President of the United States was the target of a criminal referral to federal law enforcement.
Yeah, that is kind of a big deal, right? Like, WHOA IF TRUE, except that it wasn’t true.
To review the facts, as the Times itself has acknowledged through multiple corrections, the paper’s reporting was false in several key respects: first, contrary to what the Times stated, Mrs. Clinton is not the target of a criminal referral made by the State Department’s and Intelligence Community’s Inspectors General, and second, the referral in question was not of a criminal nature at all.
Shorter Clinton campaign: your entire story was wrong, you idiots!
In our conversations with the Times reporters, it was clear that they had not personally reviewed the IG’s referral that they falsely described as both criminal and focused on Hillary Clinton. Instead, they relied on unnamed sources that characterized the referral as such. However, it is not at all clear that those sources had directly seen the referral, either. This should have represented too many “degrees of separation” for any newspaper to consider it reliable sourcing, least of all The New York Times.
It’s a safe bet that the unnamed sources are probably House Republicans on the Benghazi Committee To Prove Hillary Benghazi Clinton Did Benghazi. Who have an agenda to make Clinton look real bad so she does not get to be president. Which is something perhaps the Times should consider when a House Republican says “I know a guy who knows a guy who said a thing.”
The speed with which the Times conceded that it could not defend its lead citing Mrs. Clinton as the referral’s target raises questions about what inspired its confidence in the first place to frame the story that way. More importantly, the Times’ change was not denoted in the form of a correction. Rather, it was performed quietly, overnight, without any accompanying note to readers. This was troubling in its lack of transparency and risks causing the Times to appear like it is trying to whitewash its misreporting. A correction should have been posted promptly that night.
Not to be rude, or anything, but you guys at the Times kinda knew your SHOCKING! accusation was bogus, which is why you secretly changed it without telling anyone, but that is bad journalism, and you should feel bad.
There’s a nice friendly “in closing” wish to “have a constructive relationship” with the newspaper that is seemingly obsessed with thinly sourced or straight-up WRONG stories about how Hillary Clinton did a bad. But (paraphrasing a little), you suck and your obvious bias sucks, and your crap reporting sucks, and we are going to keep pointing out how much you suck until you stop doing that.
XOXO, The Hillz campaign.