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Bug #22466 closed:corrected

Misreporting James O'Keefe's ACORN "Pimp" Hoax

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This bug appeared in a news report published by The Washington Post on Sep 29, 2010 by Alexandra Petri. View the original news report.
Bug Type:  Simple Factual Error

Petri twice reports in the same story that rightwing activist James O'Keefe "dressed up as a pimp to interview members of ACORN," when in fact he never did. Rather, his videos were deceptively edited to appear that way. This fact has been known for almost a year, even as Washington Post has misreported it (without correction) in the past as well. More details here: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=8101

Supporting Information:

More details: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=8101


Brad Friedman has contacted The Washington Post and received the following response.

WaPo's "Correction" address (Corrections@WashPost.com) has ignored, Ombudsman gave me the Corrections address and Petri's email (who has also ignored my notice). Moreover, both she and Dana Milbank have been notified multiple times via both Twitter and on comments at their blog. All such notification has been ignored.

Bug History

Oct 01, 2010 4:17 pm Open Brad Friedman
Oct 01, 2010 4:17 pm Open: Responded To Anonymous
Oct 05, 2010 3:54 pm Closed: Corrected Scott Rosenberg
Oct 12, 2010 10:30 am Open Mark Follman
Oct 12, 2010 10:31 am Closed: Corrected Mark Follman

Discussion Leave a comment

We contacted the main Washington Post corrections address as well as the ombudsman Mon AM 10/4. I know that Brad has been in touch again with the Post as well.

I see that the page has now been updated/corrected as of 10:44 AM today, 10/5:

"Update Oct. 5 10:44 a.m.: An earlier version of this post claimed that O'Keefe was dressed up as a pimp when he interviewed ACORN employees. There is no evidence that he was wearing the pimp costume during the interview. The post has been updated to reflect this change."

Oct 05, 2010 12:18 pm

Good news! As Scott mentions, WaPo's Petri has finally issued a correction. That correction, and details on both it, and the still-uncorrected reporting on this same matter at WaPo, is now posted here:

Please see the story above, as it details an even longer-uncorrected story (from September of '09) related to this same matter. Should a separate bug report be filed for that one?

Oct 05, 2010 2:43 pm

You definitely could do that. Our experience to date is that it gets progressively harder to get errors fixed the older they are. But putting them on the record (in various ways -- I know you've already posted about it) is probably a good thing!

In the meantime, we'll close this out as corrected. Thanks.

Oct 05, 2010 3:53 pm