By Dave Andrusko
It took the New York Times 16 days to make a correction that could have been made in about 16 minutes. But, sort of to the Times’ credit, yesterday the newspaper did offer what, by its standard, was a fairly straightforward correction of a terribly misleading story.
NRL News wrote about the original July 20 story, “Planned Parenthood Tells Congress More Videos of Clinics Might Surface,” in the context of PPFA’s strategy to “kill the messenger” (the Center for Medical Progress) which has released five agenda-shifting videos exposing PPFA’s trafficking in intact baby body part.
Reporter Jackie Calmes evidently swallowed whole PPFA’s assertion that were it not for complaints from the nation’s largest abortion provider, the public might not have seen the full, unedited version of the first video, an interview with Dr. Deborah Nucatola, senior director for medical services for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, .
Here’s the correction:
An earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to the timing of the release of what they said was a full-length, unedited video of a Planned Parenthood employee talking about how much clinics charge for specimens. While the full-length video of more than two hours took longer to download than the nearly nine-minute edited footage, the full video was in fact posted at the same time as the edited version. It is not the case that the full video was released “after Planned Parenthood complained of selective, misleading editing.”
The significance of this misrepresentation is difficult to exaggerate. It helped establish the narrative–phony from the beginning but etched in stone for many media outlets–that CMP acted improperly, if not unethically, from the get-go.
And, although it technically was not required, the correction could/should also have gone one step further. In addition to the full video released simultaneously, the CMP also released a full transcript.
Why is that important? You can read a transcript much faster than you watch a two and hour video and you can go back and forth to see if the shorter version played loose and fast with the truth.
In fact, the 8:51 video quite accurately conveyed what was said, as both the full video and the transcript make clear.
Please keep this in mind as you read the next wave of made-up allegations.