Powerline was all over this today, to the extent that I can’t do any better here than to urge you to read their fisking of the NYT’s ombudsman’s spin job. Quote:
A key part of Moncrief’s story was that the Obama campaign had furnished ACORN with lists of maxed-out donors so that ACORN could mine them for contributions. In fact, Moncrief provided the Times reporter, Strom, with such a list that ACORN allegedly obtained from the Obama campaign. Hoyt does not dispute that this story, if true, was evidence of violation of the campaign finance laws…
Hoyt also argues that the story about Obama and ACORN would not have been a “game-changer” in that it would not have swung the election to John McCain. I agree. But since when is that the standard? Is Hoyt telling us that the Times’ policy is only to print stories that have the potential to change the result of a Presidential election? Of course, if the story did have the potential to change the outcome of the election, that, too, would have been offered as a reason not to print it.
A story that would have changed the result of the election? Nah. A story that should have been run once it became firm enough to print? Of course. Why didn’t the Times do so?