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NYT – trusted?/ripped off?/betrayed by? – ThinkProgress over Darrell Issa?

Let me just executive summary this ThinkProgress/New York Times trainwreck, because Powerline has a very good detailed takedown of it already:

  • ThinkProgress wrote some sloppy, badly researched hit pieces on House Oversight Chair Darrell Issa (R);
  • Eric Litchblau of the New York Times apparently turned them – without attribution – into a extremely sloppy, badly researched hit article on House Oversight Chair Darrell Issa (R);
  • and Issa’s office spent a leisurely afternoon blowing large holes in the Times’ story.

Among other things, apparently Litchblau misstated prices of buildings purchased, got business relationships wrong, woefully overestimated profits, and generally demonstrated why math is hard. At least, it’s hard for New York Times reporters – and the left-wing shills that they apparently rip off.

By the way, the ThinkProgress author himself thinks that the NYT article plagiarized him, although I agree with John over at Powerline: this is one time that you don’t want to be associated with a major newspaper.

Anyway, for those who don’t remember: Eric Litchblau is one of the guys who won a Pulitzer for attempting to sabotage ongoing American counter-terrorism efforts via the illegal* publication of details of the NSA’s domestic surveillance program – a program that has since been approved by a Democratic-controlled Congress** – so it’s not entirely surprising that the almost-seditionist in question would find ThinkProgress’s work… compelling. Which is fine, as long as Litchblau saved that sort of thing for a private blog or website. But if Lichblau suddenly feels the need to do real journalism, then he apparently needs to learn what people in New Media already know: do not trust ThinkProgress’s content. They make things up and then hope that somebody with a louder mike, and no judgement, uncritically repeats what they’ve made up.

Just saying, that’s all.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*Yes, laws on revealing classified documents effectively cannot be enforced in our current political climate; possibly they even shouldn’t be enforced, in some cases. It’s still illegal.

**I’m mentioning that last bit solely for the sadism.

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