Mea Culpa: NY Times Corrects the Record for Calling Washington Times 'An Outlet Decidedly Opposed to Mr. Obama'

If you haven't noticed, a lot of media outlets have gotten worked up into a tizzy over the mere mention of death panels. The New York Times got so worked up, it went after a few conservatives outlets by name in its Aug. 13 issue.

"But the rumor [that Obama's health care proposal would create death panels] - which has come up at Congressional town-hall-style meetings this week in spite of an avalanche of reports laying out why it was false - was not born of anonymous e-mailers, partisan bloggers or stealthy cyberconspiracy theorists," Jim Rutenberg and Jackie Calmes wrote for the Times. "Rather, it has a far more mainstream provenance, openly emanating months ago from many of the same pundits and conservative media outlets that were central in defeating President Bill Clinton's health care proposals 16 years ago, including the editorial board of The Washington Times, the American Spectator magazine and Betsy McCaughey, whose 1994 health care critique made her a star of the conservative movement (and ultimately, New York's lieutenant governor)."

But just calling out the Washington Times just once wasn't enough. Rutenberg and Calmes took it a step further, calling the paper once again as "an outlet decidedly opposed to Mt. Obama (since corrected in the online version.)

"The specter of government-sponsored, forced euthanasia was raised as early as Nov. 23, just weeks after the election and long before any legislation had been drafted, by an outlet decidedly opposed to Mr. Obama, The Washington Times," Rutenberg and Calmes wrote.

Twenty-four hours later, the New York Times reconsidered its language charging The Washington Times as an outlet "opposed to Mr. Obama." The paper issued this ham-handed correction in its Aug. 15 issue.

"An article on Friday about the origins of the false rumor that President Obama's health care proposals would create government-sponsored panels to decide which patients were worthy of living referred imprecisely to the stance of The Washington Times, which shortly after the election published an editorial comparing some positions of the incoming administration to the euthanasia policies of the Third Reich,' the correction said. "In describing the newspaper as ‘an outlet decidedly opposed to Mr. Obama," the article was referring to its opinion pages, not to its news pages."