A September 12 NewsBusters' item, NYT Misreports Biden-Obama Exchange, detailed a reporting error in the New York Times' coverage of testimony delivered the previous day to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by General David Petraeus and Iraq Ambassador Ryan Crocker. The news story reported an exchange between Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) and Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), both Democratic presidential candidates:
The senators were allowed only seven minutes each for questions, a limit that Mr. Biden, as a committee chairman, tried to enforce. But he did not try overly hard to cut off Mr. Obama, perhaps because he did not want to be seen in the ungentlemanly act of silencing a political rival. “Why don’t you try to summarize quickly what you said, O.K.?” Mr. Biden genially asked him as his time ran out.
The NewsBusters' post pointed out that Senator Biden had requested the quick summarization not from Obama, but from Ambassador Crocker. The time restraint was necessary because Obama had devoted most of his allotted time for questions to political posturing, a circumstance not unknown in Congress.Today the New York Times acknowledged its reporting error. Appended to the original article is this:
Correction: October 8, 2007An article on Sept. 12 about a hearing on Iraq war policy before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee misidentified the person whom Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, committee chairman, asked to summarize his remarks quickly. It was Ryan C. Crocker, the United States ambassador to Iraq and one of the witnesses — not Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, a member of the committee.
As one who's been critical of the New York Times many times, I acknowledge that - at least in this instance - it's corrected itself. Now if only other mainstream media outlets would so readily follow suit.