The New York Times issued a significant correction to a story that seemed to insinuate proven collusion between former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and the Kremlin.
The story came about as court filings on Tuesday contained sloppy redactions by Manafort’s legal team that apparently revealed new and unintentional information.
In their rush to connect dots to their preconceived notions, the Times reported that the documents demonstrate Manafort had “shared political polling data with a business associate tied to Russian intelligence.”
The article, still posted, had a screaming headline which read, “Manafort Shared Trump Campaign Data With Russian Tied to Intelligence Services.”
But a funny thing happened when one of the authors looked into the filings again, and lo and behold, a major correction had to be issued.
CORRECTION: PAUL MANAFORT asked KONSTANTIN KILIMNIK to pass TRUMP polling to the Ukrainian oligarchs SERHIY LYOVOCHKIN & RINAT AKHMETOV, & not to OLEG DERIPASKA, as originally reported. We have corrected the story & I deleted a tweet repeating the error. https://t.co/xfnnr5KNQR
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) January 9, 2019
The Times official correction, which naturally they placed at the bottom of their article, reads as follows:
A previous version of this article misidentified the people to whom Paul Manafort wanted a Russian associate to send polling data. Mr. Manafort wanted the data sent to two Ukrainian oligarchs, Serhiy Lyovochkin and Rinat Akhmetov, not Oleg V. Deripaska, a Russian oligarch close to the Kremlin.
The NYT didn’t correct everything
Bear in mind, Vogel tweeted the article originally at 9:00 PM on Tuesday.
The ‘correction’ tweet was sent out at 1:39 PM on Wednesday, meaning a column suggesting a direct link of collusion between Manafort and the Russians sat on social media for nearly 17 hours, allowing a false narrative to marinate into the public consciousness.
The NY Times just quietly issued a major correction to its “explosive” Manafort report.
This is a huge error that makes the “bombshell” story significantly less important.
Once again, the corporate media shows its low standards. pic.twitter.com/um2nSHuK07
— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) January 9, 2019
Aside from that, however, the Times still has a ‘Wednesday Briefing‘ section posted which contains the Manafort story.
There is no correction on that post, and it still states, at the time of this posting, that Manafort passed the polling data on to Oleg V. Deripaska, a Russian oligarch close to the Kremlin.
Additionally, the conclusion still reads: “It’s the clearest evidence to date that the Trump campaign may have tried to coordinate with Russians.”
And yet, that clear evidence was shattered by the correction of their alternative facts.
The original fake news was shared everywhere
Numerous reporters will be left with egg on their face over the New York Times story. Outlets from all corners of the mainstream media ran with the story about the connection to the Kremlin.
Other reporters had to make similar deletions to Vogel’s.
We have corrected this article to say that Manafort, via Gates, directed Kilimnik to make sure polling data got to Serhiy Lyovochkin and Rinat Akhmetov, not Deripaska. I am deleting my earlier tweet to limit recirculation. https://t.co/NF0iKWdOpc
— Amy Fiscus (@amyfiscus) January 9, 2019
The reality is that for the umpteenth time since the collusion investigation began, reporters jumped to conclusions and created their own link supposedly proving collaboration between the Trump campaign and Russia, only to have to walk it back.
In what now seems to be the dozenth “collusion” smoking gun story actually turn into the absolute opposite, Manafort passed along PUBLICLY available polling data to Ukrainian oligarchs–not a Russian oligarch with ties to the Kremlin https://t.co/9LfJzpFye6
— Jordan (@JordanChariton) January 9, 2019
Perhaps they believe they’ll find that smoking gun one day … and won’t have to retract it when they learn the truth.