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Mendacious Ombudsmanding

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Lil’ Debbie is up to her old tricks, trying to meander her way out of the ugly ethical mess within which she and others have mired the Post:

Policy vs. Reality in Correcting Errors: Corrections also need to be published sooner. Usually, there’s a backlog of corrections, as many as 20, waiting to get in. My own experience taught me that waiting to correct mistakes is, well, a mistake. I made an error in January. Because my column runs on the editorial page, I could not correct the error on Page A2. A correction ran the following Thursday on The Post’s Web site and my next column acknowledged the mistake. I should have pushed for an A2 or editorial page correction the day after the original column…

Texas tornado that she is, Lil’ Debbie should be familiar with the term "hogwash." As Brad DeLong notes, on January 15 Howell ran a column saying Jack Abramoff "had made substantial campaign contributions to both major parties."  He didn’t.  Rather than immediately correct the error, Debbie wrote a blog post on January 19 (the comments of which were quickly deleted, and now the entire post itself doesn’t seem to be there any more, nor is it listed in the Ombudsman’s archives).   At this point she was still trying to lipstick the pet WaPo pig of tarring Democrats with Abramoff corruption, saying it was correct to state that Abramoff "directed" money to both parties.  When readers once again stormed the seemingly perpetual ombudsman’s bastille, she published yet another post the following Sunday, January 22, where she said enough, okay he DIDN’T give money to Democrats, but everybody pointing that out is a foul mouthed motherfucker.  Shaking her fist in the air, she also swore she’e never be hungry again.  

But as we’ve noted many times, no correction was ever appended to the original January 15 article, until now.  The top of the column now reads:

In a Jan. 22 aricle, Deborah Howell wrote that lobbyist Jack Abramoff made substantial campaign contributions to both parties. He did not. Abramoff directed his Indian tribal clients to give campaign contributions to members of Congress from both parties, but donated personal funds only to Republicans.

But it wasn’t the January 22 article in which this claim was made, it was January 15.  Thanks once again, Lil’ gal.  As I mentioned at the time, I’m glad you decided to stick around.  You make our job so easy.

(graphic by Alysheba) 

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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