David Adams at Reuters probably thought his attack piece full of half-truths and a few outright lies about the finances of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) would be read by only a few since all of the attention these days is on the GOP candidates. Boy, was he wrong.
The Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis called out Adams and Reuters for all of the mistakes in the article suggesting Rubio’s financial problems would make him a bad choice for the GOP’s vice president slot and within 24 hours, Reuters had to issue five corrections. If the media is allowed to write this garbage, have it reviewed by editors and published with little or no care about accuracy, we have a big problem.
Of course, we’ve known this for a long time, but it’s getting worse. Adams and his editors – if there are any left at Reuters – should be severely disciplined if not fired for this hit piece on Rubio. This was a news article, it was not labeled an opinion piece.
Rush Limbaugh coined the phrase drive-by media and the phrase suites this piece to perfection. Write a bunch of bull about a politician, let it sit out there for a few hours to stir up the pot and then disappear. But the new media was able to call out the errors quickly and Reuters goes to quietly make five corrections to outright factual error for one article.
David Adams, are you at all embarrassed about what your wrote yesterday? Do you think it will hurt your credibility? The Adams/Reuters/editors unknown article is posted here.
Matt Lewis points out the seven – or possibly eight – errors Adams made here. Here are just two of the errors.
“In 2008, despite earning a declared $400,000 – including his $300,000 salary from the Miami law firm Broad and Cassel – Rubio failed to make a payment on his home for several months”
Lewis finds Rubio never missed a mortgage payment on his Miami home, but because of a clerical error was late making one payment on a house he co-owned in Tallahassee. Oh the horror. I’m not sure of the details, but the reporting seems to indicate he did make payments, but they were interest-only payments. The arrangement between Rubio and his bank is their arrangement, and to state Rubio “failed to make a payment” on his home for several months – implying default – and then changing the story to “Rubio failed to pay down the principal on his home for several months” without noting the difference is a big deal.
Second glaring error (of many)…
“He frequently had used his party credit card for personal use, and later reimbursed the party for about $16,000.”
This line was changed to “He frequently had used his party credit card for personal use, and later reimbursed the card company for about $16,000.” Well I’ll be damned. Guess what Adams’ definition of “later reimbursed the card company” is? Rubio used the card, and when he got the bill from American Expressed, he paid – prior to the due date – his personal expenses directly to American Express. Oh the horror.
As you muddle through all of the bull written by Adams, maybe you’ll wonder as I do, where the heck is the non-partisan Media Matters for America media watchdogs?
Philip Klien at the Washington Examiner has a good perspective on making journalism mistakes, and notes the following.
… the whole premise of the story is odd to begin with, even if it were true. Rubio is a suspect vice presidential pick because he’s struggled to pay his mortgage? Seriously? In an era where candidates are fighting to prove they’re “in touch” with the problems facing the rest of the country and when Mitt Romney is under fire for his wealth, this is an attack line now? The author [Adams] also writes that, “He has not endeared himself to Hispanic voters on several fronts, analysts say.” Yet the only “analyst” (singular) he quotes to back up that claim is “Fernand Amandi with Bendixen & Amandi, a political consulting firm in Miami that has been retained by the Obama campaign.”