On March 8th, The New York Times went front page with Donna Fenton. She had left Biloxi after Hurricane Katrnia, and was living in Queens with other hurricane refugees more than six months after the rain stopped. By now, Fenton had memorized the hotline numbers for FEMA and the Red Cross and Air America. She was angry at Bush and Chertoff and Brown and all the others who made the a hurricane come right to her house, blah, blah, blah.
What's that? It's all crap?
"Yesterday, the New York police arrested Ms. Fenton, charging her with several counts of welfare fraud and grand larceny. Prosecutors in Brooklyn say she was not a Katrina victim, never lived in Biloxi and had improperly received thousands of dollars in government aid. Ms. Fenton has pleaded not guilty.The Times loves to bleat on about how there's no editorial oversight or gatekeeping in alternative media. "Who will check the bloggers?" has become their mantra. The question should become who will encourage the New York Times to do some elemental fact-checking before they trot out the daily anti-Bush diatribe?
On Saturday (the Times) said it had misidentified a man featured in the iconic "hooded inmate" photograph from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Today it discloses that a woman it profiled on March 8 is not, in fact, a victim of Hurricane Katrina--and was arrested for fraud and grand larceny yesterday. As it did in the Abu Ghraib mistake, the Times ran an editors' note on page 2 of its front section, along with a lengthy news article (this time on the front page of Section B). Again mirroring the Abu Ghraib episode, the newspaper revealed a surprising and inexplicable lapse in fact-checking on the part of a reporter and/or editor.