Just two days after the Times described the “outlandish” dress of O’Keefe, the Congress of the United States passed legislation to remove federal funding for ACORN. (A federal judge later found the legislation to be “unconstitutional”.)
The Times has so far refused to retract, apologize, and investigate how and why it got the story so incredibly wrong, time and again, even though many have written to the paper’s Public Editor, Clark Hoyt (Public@NYTimes.com) to request that he recommend exactly that. Hoyt had previously chided the paper in his column, for being “slow off the mark” in having waited “nearly a week after the first video was posted” before covering the videos. A special editor was then assigned to devote attention to “issues that are dominating Fox News and talk radio.”
As Brad notes, the Times engaged in extensive self-criticism for “missing” a story that’s now been revealed as deceitful at minimum. I think it’s fine to have a “special editor” keeping an eye on wingnut concerns, as long as that special editor is given the leeway to point out that 99% of the time, they’re outright wrong if not batshit crazy.
If you feel inspired to send a note to Hoyt, be polite. Flies, honey, vinegar.