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May 17, 2018 7:09 am

New York Times Issues ‘Epic’ Correction of ‘Hatchet-Job’ Profile of Iran Deal Critic

avatar by Ira Stoll


The headquarters of The New York Times. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The New York Times has issued a four-part correction to its hatchet job profile of a prominent critic of the Iran nuclear deal.

The original Times article was the subject of an Algemeiner column I wrote pointing out some of the errors that were eventually corrected by the Times. The article was about the chief executive of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies Mark Dubowitz. A former Times reporter and editor who is now president of FDD, Clifford May, described the Times article as a “hatchet job.”

The seven-sentence, 154-word Times correction reads:

An earlier version of this article referred imprecisely to the salary of Mark Dubowitz, the chief executive of Foundation for Defense of Democracies, when compared with those of leaders of other Washington think tanks. Mr. Dubowitz’s $560,221 compensation in 2016 was determined by the foundation’s board of directors and is commensurate with the average annual salary of other think tank leaders in Washington in recent years. It is not nearly twice as much as the salaries of his counterparts. The article also inaccurately linked the foundation to Israel’s Likud party. While the think tank does align with some of Likud’s positions, it is not directly involved with the party. The article also referred imprecisely to the funding of conferences held by the foundation and the Hudson Institute. While Elliott Broidy provided $2.7 million in funds for consulting, marketing, and other services, the foundation says it received only $360,000 from Mr. Broidy for one conference.

“This is one hell of a correction,” observed Daniel Drezner, a professor at Tufts University who is the author of a book about think tanks.

Mr. Dubowitz said on Twitter that while he appreciated the efforts of Times editors to correct the article, “Many other misleading elements remain.” Among them is the Times description of Mr. Dubowitz as wearing “tailored French suits.”

“Just for the record, I own no tailored suits, French or otherwise, unless having to shorten my pants every time you buy them because I am short counts as bespoke,” Mr. Dubowitz said.

An editor at The Forward, Batya Ungar-Sargon, called the Times correction “epic” and said the original Times dispatch “had a weird Jewish money obsession that I didn’t care for.”

An editor at The New York Post, Seth Mandel, wrote, “There is no excuse for what happened here, and heads should roll. Corrections and apologies should be just the beginning. What a disaster.”

And the editor of Commentary John Podhoretz described the Times’ errors as “genuinely appalling.”

Ira Stoll is the author of JFK, Conservative. He was managing editor of The Forward and North American editor of the The Jerusalem Post. More of his media critiques, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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