On Monday, May 4, The New Republic posted Jeffrey Rosen's "case against Sotomayor," in which Rosen portrayed Second Circuit judge Jose Cabranes as indicating that Sotomayor is "not that smart," based on this quote from Cabranes: "She is not intimidated or overwhelmed by the eminence or power or prestige of any party, or indeed of the media."
The very next day, The New Yorker's Amy Davidson pointed out that Rosen clipped Cabranes' quote, and that the judge also called Sotomayor "tough and tenacious as well as smart."
So, Cabranes called Sotomayor "smart." Jeffrey Rosen ignored that part of the quote, then portrayed the rest as indicating that Sotomayor is not smart.
The New Republic owes Sonia Sotomayor, Jose Cabranes, and its readers a correction. As of today, May 11 -- a full week later -- it has not yet posted one.
Everybody, including reporters, makes mistakes. That's no reason to never trust them again. But when those mistakes are pointed out, and they refuse to correct clear errors, they sacrifice credibility. Perhaps even worse, they demonstrate that they simply don't care about their credibility.
(I have more on the smearing of Sonia Sotomayor here.)