NYT runs to Politico for comment on embarrassing Free Beacon story … again

posted at 1:21 pm on June 8, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

Last week, the New York Times got caught with its pants down on a nonsensical “scoop” about Marco Rubio and his four driving violations in 17 years. Not only was the story silly, but its provenance appeared to fully originate at American Bridge, as the Washington Free Beacon’s Brent Scher discovered from perusing the public records. Instead of responding to Scher’s request for comment, the New York Times ran to Dylan Byers of Politico to claim that they had gotten the documents on their own, through a document retrieval service.  During an interview on the Hugh Hewitt Show on which I guest-hosted, Scher told me that he had re-accessed those records after hearing this story from Byers, and discovered that no other activity had been listed for any of the records on traffic violations from Rubio and his wife since May 26th, which is when American Bridge pulled the records in person. So far, no one at the New York Times seems interested in addressing that point.

Today, Alana Goodman reported on the $100,000 donation to a New York Times charity from the Clintons in 2008, the same year in which the paper endorsed Hillary for president. Goodman tried to get the New York Times to comment, but instead the paper ran once again to Byers rather than answer the Free Beacon:

In an email, Times spokesperson Elieen [sic] Murphy categorically rejected the report: “The Free Beacon story is preposterous from start to finish,” she wrote. Nick Merrill, a spokesperson for the Clinton 2016 campaign, declined to comment.

Still, Byers managed to advance the story a bit:

The Clinton Family Foundation has not given to the Times’ Neediest Cases Fund since 2008.

As I wrote earlier, the context of the donation is important in determining what it means. Clearly, this shows that the value of this particular charity to the Clintons didn’t extend past their annus horribilis in that presidential cycle, with the obvious conclusion that they had something else in mind than just New York City’s “Neediest Cases” with their cash infusion. The NYT told Byers that this assumption was “preposterous,” at least on their part.  The newspaper didn’t explain why reporting on this singular connection was somehow “preposterous,” especially from a media outlet that busies itself breaking scoops about traffic tickets from a candidate’s spouse.

Why, though, couldn’t the New York Times simply tell the Free Beacon that the story was “preposterous”? Byers wonders the same thing:

In recent days, the trouble is being caused on the Times’ doorstep. Two Free Beacon reports have called the Times’ integrity into question: One alleged that the Times used opposition research from a pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC to publish a negative article about Sen. Marco Rubio; another revealed that the Times accepted a $100,000 donation from the Clinton Family Foundation in 2008, the same year that it endorsed her in the contested Democratic presidential primary.

Yet the Times’ response — or lack thereof — to the Free Beacon’s inquiries suggests that the paper of record holds little regard for Goldfarb and Continetti’s brand of journalism. In both cases, the Times did not respond to Free Beacon reporters when they emailed requesting comment. Then, following publication of the articles, the Times responded to inquiries from the On Media blog while continuing to disregard emails from Free Beacon reporters. …

The two Free Beacon reports on the Times are factually sound: The first shows that American Bridge, the pro-Clinton super PAC, pulled Sen. Rubio and his wife’s traffic citations from the Miami-Dade county court just days before the Times’ report on the Rubios’ record of traffic violations. The second shows that the Clinton Family Foundation made a $100,000 donation to the New York Times Neediest Cases Fund in 2008, the same year the paper gave her its endorsement.

As Jake Tapper said after the previous round of forum-shopping by the Gray Lady, this is “unseemly” when campaigns do it, let alone media outlets.

After Byers asked for comment on why the Times ignored the Free Beacon’s request for comment, the Free Beacon finally got a denial about the implication of the donation, but not on the facts Goodman reported. It’s a little late to retrieve credibility on this point now. One cannot help but conclude that the Times has adopted the campaign tactic of forum-shopping because it sees itself as campaigning, rather than reporting. Rather than respond to the audience that reads the Free Beacon, they respond instead to a totally different audience in order to provide them talking points and reassure them of the Times’ allegiance. What other possible reason would the Times have in doing this?

Glenn Reynolds says that was obvious after the Rubio hit piece:

When Scher asked the Times for comment, he got no reply. Instead, the Times went toPolitico’s Dylan Byers to give its side of the story. Byers published its denial that American Bridge was behind the story. (Scher is skeptical.) I’m not sure what’s worse: The possibility that the Times just reprinted opposition research from a partisan source (while crediting two reporters and a researcher), or the Times thinking on its own that this was a big scoop.

Oh, well. I’m inclined to agree with Jeff Greenfield that this is a parody of a political gotcha story. But if you think that the Rubios are a menace on the road, perhaps you should vote for the senator for president, so that he and his wife will have drivers. Look at Hillary Clinton: Her husband got elected to the White House, and she hasn’t driven a car herself since 1996.

And if Times journalists wonder why so many people think they bend over backward for gotcha stories involving politicians they disfavor, well, perhaps they should ponder this example. Everybody else is.

Give Byers credit for calling the Times out on this practice. He could have a high profile as the go-to person for media orgs’ spin for the next seventeen months, but he’s sticking to his guns as a media analyst. It does make one wonder where these media outlets will turn next to get out their spin.


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Comments

Goebbels died too soon.

Schadenfreude on June 8, 2015 at 1:23 PM

Goebbels died too soon.

Schadenfreude on June 8, 2015 at 1:23 PM

The New York Times hasn’t died soon enough.

FlameWarrior on June 8, 2015 at 1:26 PM

Amen flamethrower

cmsinaz on June 8, 2015 at 1:30 PM

. Two Free Beacon reports have called the Times’ integrity into question

See, I don’t call the New York Times’ integrity into question, the same as I don’t call the New York Times’ unicorns into question.

rbj on June 8, 2015 at 1:30 PM

Still waiting for the Grey Lady DNC Ho to come up with Obama’s Harvard/Columbia college records from way back during the 2008 campaign.

portlandon on June 8, 2015 at 1:30 PM

The NYT sure has some thin skin.

supernova on June 8, 2015 at 1:32 PM

sticking to his guns??

no, he was caught. he was caught and it’s making him look bad. he’s trying to distance himself from this unethical behavior in the form of questions….seemingly thrown up in the air with no real desire for an answer.

bloghooligan on June 8, 2015 at 1:33 PM

The New York Times hasn’t died soon enough.

FlameWarrior on June 8, 2015 at 1:26 PM

True, but the Enquirer or such have more credibility today.

Schadenfreude on June 8, 2015 at 1:33 PM

Sunday, on the Chris Wallace show, some ugly man/woman, “not representing the NYT” while s/he works there “the NYT was right”.

I just grinned.

Schadenfreude on June 8, 2015 at 1:35 PM

OT – can’t help himself

Schadenfreude on June 8, 2015 at 1:37 PM

And ABC News did the same thing with the story about Stephanopoulos and the Clinton “charity”.

Socratease on June 8, 2015 at 1:40 PM

Gray lady with terminal cancer can’t bring herself to dignify some uppity news outlet calling out her corruption.

crrr6 on June 8, 2015 at 1:41 PM

Last week, the New York Times got caught with its pants down on a nonsensical “scoop” about Marco Rubio and his four driving violations in 17 years. Not only was the story silly

Evidently, you don’t really understand why the NYSlimes ran that story. They have no interest in attacking Boobio. The Slimes ran that “silly” story as a way to boost the treasonous little worm’s numbers among conservatives, by making it look like the left is out to get him.

This is a case of “Don’t throw me in that thar briar patch!!!” The Slimes is trying to help their treasonous little worm ally along by fooling the right into defending Boobio and thinking that he is anything but the lowlife, treasonous scum that he is.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 8, 2015 at 1:42 PM

Shouldn’t this story include a link to Captain Louis Renault on it??

Deano1952 on June 8, 2015 at 1:49 PM

OT – can’t help himself

Schadenfreude on June 8, 2015 at 1:37 PM

Ed will be by shortly to explain what the Pope really meant!!

Deano1952 on June 8, 2015 at 1:51 PM

You know, TPOP, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

The Grinch on June 8, 2015 at 1:52 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 8, 2015 at 1:42 PM

Not buying it.

LIV’s are little more than headline readers. Rubio getting 4 tickets in 18 years is a non-story. In fact, it probably makes him an average to better than average driver. His wife getting 13 in that time makes her a bad driver, but no one cares about her. So, you make the story about their combined “17” tickets with the headline, “Rubios on the Road Have Drawn Unwanted Attention” to plant the seed in the LIV consciousness: they’re reckless drivers.

crrr6 on June 8, 2015 at 1:53 PM

Give Byers credit for calling the Times out on this practice. He could have a high profile as the go-to person for media orgs’ spin for the next seventeen months, but he’s sticking to his guns as a media analyst. It does make one wonder where these media outlets will turn next to get out their spin.

This is the third time Byers has been willing to take advantage of the desire of scumbags caught with their pants down to deny the Free Beacon reporters a hard-earned scoop and put their own spin on a scandalous story. Only after taking a lot of heat did Byers finally move himself to raise the obvious question about the practice.

I’d think by now Byers ought to be suspicious of scumbags’ bearing exclusive scoops and comments. Instead of taking advantage, Byers should be contacting the Free Beacon writers and telling them what the scumbags are up to and let them break their story.

That’s what an ethical journalist would do.

novaculus on June 8, 2015 at 1:54 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 8, 2015 at 1:42 PM

I’m not sure that being mocked and ridiculed would necessarily be a winning strategy for the “paper of record.”

pain train on June 8, 2015 at 1:54 PM

The New York Times has “ethics”?

GarandFan on June 8, 2015 at 1:58 PM

Why Dylan Byers…?

d1carter on June 8, 2015 at 1:58 PM

Not buying it.

No problem.

LIV’s are little more than headline readers.

crrr6 on June 8, 2015 at 1:53 PM

The story wasn’t meant for the Slimes normal, dirtbag readers. It was intended for those who don’t read the Slimes to reflexively defend Boobio and try to paint the treasonous little worm as being some enemy of the left (which he clearly is not).

It is not very different from when Boobio’s leftist partners on the Gang-Rape of Eight would say nasty things about him, to try and give the impression taht he wasn’t in their pockets. But he was and we all knew it, no matter what how Shumer tried to portray it as if they were adversarial in some way. In the end, Boobio worked as hard as he could for Shumer and the rest of the America-hating lowlifes and it was clear that their omplaints about him were nothing but retarded Kabuki theater.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 8, 2015 at 2:03 PM

Schadenfreude on June 8, 2015 at 1:35 PM

Sheryl Stolberg. I could barely stand to listen to her, the BS was so deep and stank.

novaculus on June 8, 2015 at 2:05 PM

The dog that didn’t bark – this is best they can do? This is the worst thing they can find on any of the Republicans? Think about it – this is the equivalent of the John McCain messed around story. This is ALL THEY HAVE. It’s hysterical, actually.

djl130 on June 8, 2015 at 2:06 PM

Seems as if Dylan Byers is high profile “go to” guy now….

d1carter on June 8, 2015 at 2:07 PM

OT – can’t help himself

Schadenfreude on June 8, 2015 at 1:37 PM

Open comment to the Pope:

Socialists/communists don’t believe in God or in going to church. The hidden statistic there is that socialists don’t drop dollars into the golden plate as it slinks its way around the pews.

No capitalists = no money = no church = no pope.

Then again, if there weren’t any socialists, we probably wouldn’t need to drop dollars in the plate…….

BobMbx on June 8, 2015 at 2:08 PM

We’ve always known the Old Gray Lady was a whore, now we have proof along with her cost for services rendered.

dominigan on June 8, 2015 at 2:19 PM

Goebbels died too soon.

Who knows, maybe Mengele was a little more successful with his experiments in Argentina than we really know.

F X Muldoon on June 8, 2015 at 2:22 PM

NYT runs to Politico for comment on embarrassing Free Beacon story … again

Hey, George Stephanopoulos can’t run all the interference for the Clinton Foundation graft. Somebody might get suspicious.

Happy Nomad on June 8, 2015 at 2:27 PM

Give Byers credit for calling the Times out on this practice. He could have a high profile as the go-to person for media orgs’ spin for the next seventeen months, but he’s sticking to his guns as a media analyst.

Um… credit? Really?

https://twitter.com/DylanByers/status/607915553454292992

“Dylan Byers [email protected]

New York Times spox: “The Free Beacon story is preposterous from start to finish.” http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2015/06/clintons-gave-k-to-nyt-fund-in-208412.html …”

How do I give him credit for not doing what he’s currently doing?

the go-to person for media orgs’ spin

gekkobear on June 8, 2015 at 2:31 PM

The New York Times has “ethics”?

GarandFan on June 8, 2015 at 1:58 PM

You betcha.

They haven’t used them in a long time, but they have them in the safe, next to Punch Sulzberger’s petrified testicles which Pinch likes to take out and admire when he feels lonely.

~~

Why Dylan Byers…?

d1carter on June 8, 2015 at 1:58 PM


Politico
was founded by charter members of Ezra Klein’s email propaganda cabal “Journolist,” designed to “manage” the news by casting every story in a light favorable to Democrats in general and to Obama in particular.

They could not meet their payroll if not for the revenue from the Obama Administration: the White House and several agencies pay six figures each to subscribe to Politico‘s news service, which gives them headlines and links every morning, mostly copied from Drudge and others. So you might say they are “friendly media.”

Adjoran on June 8, 2015 at 3:35 PM

I see that the NYTimes is speaking out their a$$ (Politico) again

J_Crater on June 8, 2015 at 3:45 PM

Monsanto has saved more people then the Catholic Church.

Standard oil saved the whales.

Dupont has saved more African babies than Mother Teresa (including Mother T) with their nylon mosquito netting.

It must be a small brackish pool of cardinals for them to cough up this guy to be Pope.

papertiger on June 8, 2015 at 4:05 PM

The New York Times hasn’t died soon enough.
FlameWarrior on June 8, 2015 at 1:26 PM

It’s being floated on a Mexican corporate-flotation-device.

Another Drew on June 8, 2015 at 4:49 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 8, 2015 at 1:42 PM

And yet Cruz and Walker dominate the latest polls (not from the DNC media).

Another Drew on June 8, 2015 at 4:52 PM

“…ethical journalist,,,”

Oxymoron Alert!

Another Drew on June 8, 2015 at 4:54 PM

Give Byers credit for calling the Times out on this practice.

I don’t see where he did that Ed, did I miss something?

JusDreamin on June 8, 2015 at 5:16 PM

how obvious can this be? something that cant be denied factually but you refuse to allow yourself to be quoted in the unpopular nerdy kids press, so you go to a favored/known cheerleader editor of Ye Establishment Herald and tell them first:

“Well Yes its like totally true and stuff, but like, the real story is the gall of these weirdos trying to ask us questions. Theres like no way we would like ever give those guys like a real answer and stuff, they are such wingnuts so we called you guys first knowing you’d like be understanding about our position and stuff. Like.”

Or words to that effect.

Sacramento on June 8, 2015 at 6:31 PM

“unseemingly” SCREAMS jake tapper…SCREAMS I SAY!!!!!!

Uh no…it’s totally CORRUPT and is tearing at the fiber of the country and has been for several decades

Ed ponders/wonders/laments ” Times has adopted the campaign tactic of forum-shopping because it sees itself as campaigning”…

Been going on for YEARS there ED…just ignored and soft pedaled with NO outrage

winston on June 8, 2015 at 6:39 PM

In an email, Times spokesperson Elieen [sic] Murphy categorically rejected the report: “The Free Beacon story is preposterous from start to finish,” she wrote. Nick Merrill, a spokesperson for the Clinton 2016 campaign, declined to comment.

Which, when translated from Collectivese into Reality Speak, means that the Free Beacon story was entirely accurate on every point.

Thank you Eileen for this confirmation.

Star Bird on June 8, 2015 at 6:52 PM

the Times’ integrity

Apparently can be whored out for about $100k . . .

BigAlSouth on June 8, 2015 at 7:53 PM

Pinch really admires Caitlin but who is surprised.

Mr Soames on June 8, 2015 at 11:14 PM

After reading that 55% of Fox News employees’ political donations go to Democrats, I read Ed describing Dylan Byers as “a media analyst”, and it all sounds about right.

There is no such thing as “the conservative media”, is there?

Jaibones on June 8, 2015 at 11:46 PM

I don’t understand why anyone is sruprised.

The grey lady is a whore.

She has been the thirties when Duranty lifted her skirts to be violated by Stalin.

She has been on her knees for every anti American leftist to make a public appearance since then.

MaaddMaaxx on June 9, 2015 at 12:29 AM

Original NYT motto:

Everything that’s fit to print

The revised motto of the hopelessly politicized NYT is:

Everything that fits, we print

landlines on June 9, 2015 at 2:17 AM

The “Democrat Operatives posing as journalists” are running for cover.

RADIOONE on June 9, 2015 at 7:45 AM

NYT has their latest hit piece up on Rubio’s finances.

airupthere on June 9, 2015 at 9:19 AM

It’s a little late to retrieve credibility on this point now

That’s a joke, right?

oldleprechaun on June 9, 2015 at 9:53 AM

Thank you, Ed, for meticulously dissecting what the NYT has done here, not only in their original story but in their fake denial afterwards and the messy partisanship of Politico. Wonderful. As far as I’m concerned, stories about the corrupt media are at least as important as stories about corrupt politicians.

Unfortunately, these kinds of manufactured news stories such as this one by the Times really work. A lot of people (including myself) mainly read the headlines and don’t get into details of the story. Take this article by the Times about Rubio. I was negatively impressed by hearing that Rubio and his wife received 17 tickets. For me, it supported the narrative in my head that Rubio may well be clever, but that he lacked character. Now I find out that he only received four tickets in 17 years and it makes me very angry–not at Rubio but at myself for being so easily manipulated like that.

Jazz wrote a story about Ben Carson the other day (which he picked up from the Washington Post and more or less repeated) where he described how the Carson campaign was “imploding.” This reinforced suspicions I already had about Carson which I saw no reason to doubt. It wasn’t until very late in the comments section that Cpaguy pushed back and showed the way this post by Jazz was little more than a specious hatchet job.

When you’re reading analysis and news from certain disreputable publications–such as the New York Times and the Washington Post, for example– it pays to be cautious.

Burke on June 9, 2015 at 10:16 AM

Confessing

Schadenfreude on June 10, 2015 at 1:01 PM