As POLITICO explained, Issa claims the story is “riddled with inaccuracies.” For example, the Times a description of a view from Issa’s office building that doesn’t exist. The Times wrote: “Here on the third floor of a gleaming office building overlooking a golf course in the rugged foothills north of San Diego, Darrell Issa, the entrepreneur, oversees the hub of a growing financial empire worth hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Other alleged errors include that “The Times asserted a building he bought went up in value, when it did not,” according to POLITICO.
Issa posted his retraction “demand” here on his website. He also listed the “13 erroneous statements” he is challenging, including the price of “a medical plaza he bought.” The Times has corrected one of the 13 points so far.
That Aug 16 correction stated that the Times had “misstated the worth of the companies involved in his splitting up of a holding company. The split entailed separate multimillion-dollar companies, not multibillion-dollar ones.”
According to POLITICO, the Times is defending the report and has denied the calls to publish the front-page retraction.
The Times’ Dean Baquet backed the report. He suggested that Issa’s criticisms weren’t substantive, according to POLITICO:
“I think if you look carefully at Mr. Issa’s complaints, and the story, you will see that there is nothing that gets to the heart of it. Happy to consider any mistakes they point out, and we are looking at those. But I’m not seeing a need for any sort of retraction.”
Concerning the golf course issue, Baquet’s defense makes little sense to StinkyJournalism. The Times stated the Issa’s “office building” is “overlooking a golf course.” But Baquet claimed: “I don’t think it implied — at least to my mind — that Issa’s office overlooked the golf course. I think it is trying to give a sense that this is a building in a cool area. That’s the way I always read it. Otherwise it really would have said his office overlooked the golf course. That would have been even cooler to say.”
The Times didn’t “imply” the golf course location — it stated it as fact, which is inaccurate according to POLITICO.
Baquet then argued that the criticisms of the story aren’t significant and are detracting from the news. “It feels to me, to be frank, that the discussion of a very sophisticated and nuanced story has been shifted to what the story did not say, rather than what it did say,” Baquet added.
The NYTimes’ public editor’s assistant, Joseph Burgess, is quoted as telling POLITICO that it will “review” Issa’s retraction request but was already “looking into the correction requests made.”
Hat Tip: Heritage