NYT — Front page Palin story was incorrect

This is how they roll. Report it and get it out there. Get it picked up by all the television reporters who repeated it as recently as today’s morning news/chat shows. Too bad it isn’t true.

The chairwoman of an Alaskan political party that advocates a vote on the state’s secession from the union said Tuesday that she had been mistaken when she said Gov. Sarah Palin was a member of the group.

A front-page story in The New York Times on Tuesday and articles in other news media reported that Ms. Palin was a member of the Alaska Independence Party for two years in the 1990’s.

The information in the Times article was based on a statement issued Monday night by Lynette Clark, the party’s chairwoman, who said that Ms. Palin joined the party in 1994 and in 1996 changed her registration to Republican.

On Tuesday night, Ms. Clark said that her initial statement was incorrect and had been based on erroneous information provided by another member of the party whom she declined to identify. The McCain campaign also disputed the Times report, saying that Ms. Palin had been registered consistently as a Republican. Too bad the corrected story didn’t make the front page. I listened to this Alaska Independence Party smear being referenced on the network morning shows today and did not realize the correction was posted last night. Evidently those on the morning shows didn’t realize it either. Or they didn’t care. Maybe if the NYT had run the correction as prominently as the original story they would have seen it. At the time of this posting the incorrect story was the third most forwarded on the NYT website and the original online story still included the incorrect information and included no reference to the correction that was posted last night on the blog.

Update: Read Bob Owens on the state of modern journalism.

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