The Ellen DeGeneres Show took a video segment embellishing claims about Newark, New Jersey mayor Cory Booker off its website, the NJ Star-Ledger reported.
As the Star-Ledger explained, when Booker appeared on the show, Ellen's "producers rolled out an introduction for Booker that rivaled any comic book hero."
The Star-Ledger noted that it had questioned the introduction as "some of the claims were either false or exaggerated" and that during the segment, Booker "did nothing to correct them publicly."
In an April 25 post, the Star-Ledger detailed its questions and fact checks of the show's introduction. In that story, Ellen DeGeneres Show publicist Melissa Little Padgitt said, "The information about the piece came from various sources" and Booker spokesperson Anne Torres denied providing the claims about Booker to the show.
A couple of the claims about Booker and the Star-Ledger's fact checks:
Ellen: Booker "reduced crime by 50 percent"
Star-Ledger: Only 11 percent
Ellen: Booker "lives in the projects"
Since then, the video has been removed and the show's publicist Padgitt explained to the Star-Ledger that the show removed the segment "once we learned some of the information was not correct or current." There doesn't appear to be any correction published on the Ellen website.
According to the Star-Ledger, Padgitt again explained "the show had gotten the information about Booker 'from various sources' but would not offer specifics."
WNYC reported that Torres "said she provided the show with a fact sheet -- '55 Top Accomplishments in Five Years' -- that appears on the city's website. The fact sheet does not mention crime stats."
We have written to Mayor Booker's office seeking more information about these errors and will update with any response. We have also written to Ellen publicist Padgitt asking if the show published or aired any correction and will update with any response.
UPDATE: 5/7/2012 2:37 PM EST: Ellen senior publicist Padgitt responded to iMediaEthics' e-mail and wrote: "The show took down the video once we learned some of the information was not correct or current." We have written again to ask if any correction or note was published to inform readers about this.