Accuracy in Media

For two weeks, the New York Times resisted correcting one of its articles that listed several alleged coronavirus skeptics.

One of the alleged skeptics, journalist Sharyl Attkisson, disputed the newspaper’s assertion that she was a “coronavirus doubter” and sent a letter demanding that the newspaper correct its story.

According to Attkisson, the New York Times defamed her and others for its sensational headline, “From Jerry Falwell Jr. to Dr. Drew: 5 Coronavirus Doubters.”

Attkisson contacted an editor at the newspaper, Carolyn Ryan, who allegedly dismissed Attkisson’s concerns.

Only until Attkisson threatened a lawsuit did the New York Times agree to correct its story, but by the end of the process, two weeks had passed.

The article was originally published on March 18 and it was corrected on April 1. The newspaper’s correction read:

“An earlier version of this article referred imprecisely to statements made by Sharyl Attkisson.  Ms. Attkisson accurately reported the number and location of U.S. coronavirus deaths, as of the date of her March 13 podcast. Separately, a reference to advertisements for protective masks that appeared on Ms. Attkisson’s website has been removed.”


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