(Updated) Still No Correction from the LATimes
12:52 PM, Oct 31, 2007 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
Update: And there's none forthcoming...see the email from the L.A. Times below.
I wrote earlier in the week about Los Angeles Times media critic Tim Rutten's attempt to weigh in on the Beauchamp story with this piece that was riddled with factual errors. Rutten described the disfigured woman Beauchamp claimed to have mocked as Iraqi--even in Beauchamp's imagination she was always American. Rutten said the editor at TNR had conceded that the story was "concocted." It is, but they haven't, choosing instead to shift its location to Kuwait. Rutten claimed TNR had been unable to communicate with Beauchamp. This is obviously untrue, they've been able to communicate with Beauchamp, they've just refrained from communicating the substance of those conversations to their readers. And finally, Rutten accused Drudge of reporting the existence of a "Memorandum for Record" and not posting a copy of it. Of course, Drudge did post a copy of it, but Rutten failed to read all the documents before filing his sorry excuse for a column.
Patterico reports that he has been in touch with the paper's "readers representative," Jamie Gold, and I have as well. Gold recently sent me a note explaining that he was "checking with the reporter and editor and will get back to you as soon as possible." That was yesterday, I'd sent him a note the day before that, and Rutten's column appeared last Friday. So it's now nearly a week that the Times has knowingly allowed a number of factual inaccuracies to stand uncorrected. The New Republic's investigation into Beauchamp's tall tales has lasted more than four months and shows no signs of coming to an end anytime soon. Rutten is obviously a fan of Foer's approach, but one would hope that "the editors" at the Times are slightly more serious about accuracy and integrity than their peers at the New Republic.
Update: Los Angeles Times reader representative Jamie Gold just emailed the WWS a note explaining that the Times believes that Rutten's column is error-free. Here is the full text of the email: