Saturday, December 31, 2005

LA Times Fact Checking - Third Strike - And You're Out!

OK - what have we learned about the LA Times' method of fact gathering in the past few weeks? Well, they go on-line, look for quotes - and then print them! Why bother with actually talking to people when someone else has already done the work?

Of course, once they discover, excuse me - once OTHER people discover the quotes the LA Times printed are fabricated and only after they then tell the LA Times that the quotes are fabricated - then sometimes - and only sometimes, the LA Times will admit it is wrong.

And this just happened in two consecutive weeks with fabricated quotes from Rev. Jerry Falwell and Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal.

But, at least the Times will never make THAT mistake again soon - writing about what people are doing and saying without actually... asking them.... if they did or said those things things.

Yeah, right.

Cut to HUGE story on front page of the sports section and how the Times had to today correct it:

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Dodgers and NFL - An article and headline in Friday's Sports section said New York real estate developer Larry Silverstein joined Dodger officials to propose to National Football League officials that an NFL team be put in a new stadium at Chavez Ravine in the Dodger Stadium parking lot.

In fact, developer Larry Silverstein, the head of rebuilding at the World Trade Center site, is not involved in the Dodgers' proposals; a Boston lawyer named Larry Silverstein is, and he was at the meetings. Sources who said the New York developer could have built the retail and entertainment component of the Dodgers' broader proposal were unaware of the mistaken identity.

Now an excerpt for that article:,1,5962939.story

They assigned the code name "Five Ton Gorilla" to a secret proposal to remake the landscape of sports in Los Angeles and the image of owner Frank McCourt, pitching the NFL on ditching the Coliseum for a new stadium in Chavez Ravine, and signing up with one of the nation's top real estate developers to create a retail and entertainment complex in the Dodger Stadium parking lot.

In proposing McCourt acquire an NFL team, the Dodgers reportedly suggested the league wanted to move the Houston Texans to Los Angeles.

"That statement has as much credibility as the idea of the Dodgers returning to Brooklyn," league spokesman Greg Aiello said Thursday.

Greg Aiello might have also added that the factual accuracy of the LA Times also - alas! - has as much credibility as the idea of the Dodgers returning to Brooklyn. Clearly, the Times never bothered to call Silverstein to confirm that he was part of this project.

My favorite part of the correction, though, is the last line which essentially implies - the people who got the story totally wrong about Silverstein were unaware.... that everything they told us about him was totally wrong but since we are too lazy to actually check these things out ourselves - we just run what other people tell us without bothering to check to see if anything we write about is actually true.

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