With all the talk of newspaper and other news media joining forces in the battle against Google and Facebook, pooling their inventory and data and jointly lobbying Congress for anti-trust exemptions, it’s good to see competitive rivalries are still alive and well.
Specifically, the ancient art of sniping at a rival's editorial failures, better known as pissing in each other’s cornflakes.
This week, it was The New York Times’ turn under fire6, as other newspapers gleefully highlighted the newspaper of record’s embarrassing “non-scoop.”
On August 7, the NYT published a front-page story detailing government scientists’ concerns the administration might try to suppress a critical report on climate change. But on August 9, the NYT published a correction, explaining the government report on climate change, far from being an unpublished draft exclusively obtained by the NYT, has actually been publicly available for over seven months.
Of course, this made the NYT’s assertion that the Trump administration has been trying to suppress the report a tad ridiculous. Maybe not the worst mistake in history, but it is sufficient pretext for the NYT’s peers to give their snooty, pretentious older sister a good pantsing. (That's my words, not theirs.)
On August 9, The Washington Post’s opinion section gloated: “New York Times guilty of large screw-up on climate-change story.” Blogger Eric Wemple pointing out that by stating the White House had suppressed the report, the original article was needlessly deepening mistrust. “Yet given the magnitude of the screw-up, it should sit atop the story, surrounded by red flashing lights and perhaps an audio track to instruct readers: Warning: This story once peddled a faulty and damaging premise.”
The New York Post was also quick to note the NYT’s “embarrassing” mistake, helpfully pointing out the copy obtained by the NYT for the original article wasn’t even the latest version: “The third order draft, which the Times had falsely hyped as an exclusive of unpublished material, has been publicly available since January on the Internet Archive.” (Since then, the NYT has obtained a “fifth order draft” of the report, and updated the link.)
This isn’t the first time the NYT has been on the receiving end of editorial wet willies this year.
The Washington Post was quick to note the Grey Lady’s failures as detailed during the Comey hearings in June, when former FBI director Jim Comey stated that an article published by the NYT in February, accusing Trump associates of secret contacts with Russian officials, was “in the main… not true.”