New York Times Issues Correction After Claiming Sen. Rob Portman Was Laying Low on Fourth of July (He Wasn’t)

NEW YORK CITY — The New York Times was forced to issue a correction Wednesday to a story it published that initially claimed Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) was one of a number of Republicans lying low during the Fourth of July — except that Portman was anything but.

The Times published the curious piece, “Senate Republicans Lie Low on the Fourth, or Face Single-Minded Pressure” on the national holiday, claiming that Republicans in certain swing states had kept low profiles.

It contrasted Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who was seen in the parade on Maple Avenue, with his Republican counterpart Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, who only issued a YouTube video. The Times has an explanation for why Republicans are allegedly staying at home — the Senate health care bill.

It is a tough summer for Senate Republicans, who are trying to combine a long-promised repeal of the Affordable Care Act with a replacement that has, in legislation drafted so far, been as popular as sunburn. Protesters have held sit-ins at Senate offices, phone lines have been jammed and editorial writers have blasted their states’ congressional delegations. Planes have even flown admonitory, if occasionally poorly conceived, banners over state capitals.

In search of proof for its thesis, the “paper of record” even tracked down Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) to his house, where he was “playing with squirt guns and smoke bombs with his children.”

However, the initial version of the story wrongly reported that Sen. Portman had no public events on Independence Day, when he had attended two parades and tweeted about one of them.

“An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported that Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, had no public events on July 4. Mr. Portman marched in two parades,” the Times’ correction read.

The Times’ slip up marks the latest setback for the anti-Trump media. CNN has been dogged by a number of scandals over its biased reporting, while the Times is facing a lawsuit from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for an editorial that accused Palin of inciting the 2011 Tucson massacre. The Times attached a correction to the article noting that there was no such link.

Adam Shaw is a politics reporter for Breitbart News based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY


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