John Lott Keeps on Digging

The saga of John Lott continues. After falsely accusing Media Matters of misquoting him, John Lott is now falsely accusing us of doctoring screen shots of his blog posts.

Here's a quick timeline of events. On March 18, among other errors, Lott inaccurately described a proposed executive order. We wrote:

Lott also criticized Obama for a request made by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) citing an out-of-date article, saying that the Obama administration has “also imposed much more extensive reporting requirements on sales of long guns.” [Emphasis added]

In fact, the Obama administration has not imposed the regulation in question. The proposed regulation by the ATF has been repeatedly delayed by the Obama administration, which most recently rejected the ATF's request to enact the proposal as an emergency regulation.

Lott responded:

In fact, my quote is “They have also tried imposing much more extensive reporting requirements on sales of long guns.” Besides, even if the point had been honestly misread, if someone has tried to check the link, the point would have been clear. Nice try Media Matters. [Emphasis added]

Lott's accusation that we misquoted him was false. In a subsequent blog post we provided screens shots of a cached version of the Big Government post (with a date) and a screen shot and link to the original post on his website.

The screen shots and links show that we quoted Lott accurately and that the passage on Big Government was subsequently changed, allowing Lott to falsely accuse us of misquoting him. But Lott apparently forgot to change his own website, which as of today still contains the original, unaltered quote. The quote also appears in reprints of Lott's post on numerous other websites like these here, here, here, here and in a separate interview here.

Today we noticed that Lott posted a response where he fails to address his mysteriously changing quote. Instead, he suggested that Media Matters would doctor “screen shots of webpages.”

In today's post, Lott says:

Given that Media Matters has no problem using a doctored picture of me (editing the color of my hair, skin, and clothes and distorting my hair) presumably because they presumably believe that it makes me look bad, it is surprising that even people such as Paul Krugman and Brad DeLong never question whether Media Matters will use doctored screen shots of webpages.

It's completely false to suggest that Media Matters “will use doctored screen shots of webpages,” and Lott offers nothing to back up that assertion. Again, we posted screenshots of his original post, and the quote we used is identical to the quote on Lott's own website.

As for the head shot that Lott objects to, we didn't produce or doctor the photo. We found the image online. We have now replaced that image with a different photo from his Wikipedia page.