Last month, New York Times
reporter James C. McKinley Jr. falsely reported that an FBI informant who helped to thwart a left-wing terrorist plot had actually encouraged the conspiracy. In the article "Anarchist Ties Seen in ’08 Bombing of Texas Governor’s Mansion
" published February 22, 2011 online and in the print edition a day later, the Times
indicated that former left-wing activist and BigGovernment.com contributor Brandon Darby
urged two anarchists to firebomb the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota [emphasis added]:
Yet federal agents accused two men from these circles of plotting to make firebombs and hurl them at police cars during the convention. An F.B.I informant from Austin, Brandon Darby, was traveling with the group and told the authorities of the plot, which he had encouraged.
We brought this to your attention on February 24th when we asked the Times to correct the record
. We noted that according to the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota, the assertion Darby "encouraged" the plot was patently false. On February 27th, we brought in Matthew Vadum
, an expert on the circumstances surrounding the plot, to provide broader context to the Times’s
Still, the error remained uncorrected.
Then, last week, a source informed BigJournalism.com
that the New York Times
reporter acknowledged the charge they published against Darby was in fact bogus, but still, the Times
did not correct the article.
As of this writing, the false charge against Darby remains in tact.
Today, Brandon Darby filed a lawsuit against New York Times
for libel and defamation. An official letter from Mr. Darby:
Darby PDF Fix -
We'll be following the story as it develops on BigJournalism.com and BigGovernment.com.