Halfway there: NY Times corrected flawed correction on Clinton-Menendez ports legislation; has yet to correct similar error on Hunter legislation

››› ››› ADELE STAN

The New York Times issued a correction of a previous correction of an article that misstated the purpose of legislation by Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) regarding control of U.S. seaports. But the Times has yet to issue a correction about a similar falsehood regarding port-related legislation proposed by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA).

The New York Times, in the March 8 edition of the paper, issued a correction of a prior correction of an article about a measure co-sponsored by Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) to limit the control of U.S. seaports to companies meeting certain criteria. But the Times has yet to correct a similar falsehood about port-related legislation proposed by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA).

As Media Matters for America documented, the Times' initial correction of its February 28 article about the controversial deal that would permit Dubai Ports World -- a company owned by the government of Dubai, a member state of the United Arab Emirates -- to take over port operations in six U.S. cities purported to identify an error in the article, which was flagged by Media Matters, but it did so incorrectly. While the Clinton-Menendez measure would bar companies owned by foreign governments from controlling U.S. ports, the Times erroneously reported that the legislation would bar all foreign companies, whether government-owned or not. In its flawed correction, published March 2, the Times again misreported the nature of its initial error, incorrectly claiming that the error related to the article's suggestion that the Clinton-Menendez bill would apply only to companies owned by foreign governments when it would actually also impact any company controlled by a foreign government.

The day after publishing the flawed correction, a Times article misreported a description by Hunter, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, of legislation that he said he planned to introduce -- an error the Times has yet to correct. As noted by Media Matters, in that March 3 article, by Carl Hulse and Heather Timmons, the Times reported erroneously that Hunter said that his bill would ban only entities owned by foreign governments from operating installations critical to national security. As Media Matters noted when the Times made the error on March 3, the bill Hunter described and subsequently introduced on March 7 would bar all foreign-owned companies from operating U.S. seaport terminals. While still not publishing a correction, the Times accurately reported the substance of Hunter's bill in a March 8 article, also by Hulse.

From the March 8 edition of The New York Times (also appended to the online version of the original February 28 article):

An article on Feb. 28 about concerns raised by the Coast Guard over the deal with a Dubai company, DP World, incorrectly described legislation proposed by two Democratic Senators, Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Robert Menendez of New Jersey, and a correction in this space on Thursday also described it incorrectly. The bill would ban companies owned by foreign governments from taking over operations at American ports. It would not ban foreign-owned private companies from doing so. (The Dubai company is controlled by the emir of Dubai, which is part of the United Arab Emirates.)

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy
The New York Times
Duncan Hunter, 2008 Elections
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