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Esquire Columnist Trashes The Wrong Examiner; Waits Days To Correct Error

Pro-tip: Before you set out to slam a major publication of the opposite political persuasion, be sure to verify that you are actually attacking the right publication.

For years now the Washington Examiner was just another publication among the many that dot the DC media landscape. A free daily paper that covered not only Capitol Hill but the ins and outs of various neighborhoods along with sports and entertainment in the District. In June it’s changing converting to a weekly magazine though its website will remain intact. The paper leans conservative and features columnists like Tim Carney, Phil Klein, and Michael Barone.

Examiner.com is a pay-per click site that boasts thousands of authors that write about whatever they want whenever they want with minimal oversight. You can read poorly edited posts on almost any topic you want written from any perspective you want. It’s like LiveJournal but with not as many sad emo kids whining about the last Taken Back Sunday album.

The only thing these two outfits have in common is that they are owned by Philip Anschutz, the conservative billionaire that owns a variety of properties including sports teams, arenas, and more. Of course the fact that these are two very different outfits with two very different missions didn’t stop liberal commentator Charlie Pierce from blasting the Washington Examiner for a post that actually went up on Examiner.com.

In the original post on Esquire titled “Nut Picking Time” Pierce linked to a post on Examiner.com about Benghazi and wrote:

The Washington Examiner is a minor-satellite in the wing nut universe but they saw fit to seek out this delusional fellow and give him a platform, as well as giving oxygen to various “IRS stole the election” fantasies, as you can see from the links below this story. This universe is self-contained, and it is made up of voices loud and soft, and more people than you know get all their news there. I expect, very soon, a less dingy source will be sticking up for his “colleagues” at Examiner.com because, you know, Free Press and all.

The link to the original Examiner.com post is now dead but that’s not really relevant. The point is that Pierce was so excited to trash the conservative leaning Washington Examiner that he couldn’t even be bothered to verify that he was trashing the actual Washington Examiner. Even though Washington Examiner staffers post comments on the post shortly after it went up that it was incorrect it still took Esquire over 48 hours to run a correction.

The mistake is a common one according to Washington Examiner staffers I spoke with and they don’t expect it to be the last but they were surprised that it took a publication like Esquire so long to correct such a major error. “What surprised me was the lack of effort to verify what appears to be an instant assumption clouded by ideological disdain,” said Mark Tapscott, executive editor of the Washington Examiner.

Partisan blinders should not cloud people from doing very basic research when they are blasting somebody for something. The whole point of his post is moot now because nobody really cares what some self-published nobody on a pay-per-click site pays. Why he felt the need to be so sloppy and slow in running a correction is beyond me because Pierce didn’t respond to my email seeking comment.

The post now includes a correction that backhandedly notes that the two outfits are not at all the same but BUT! they’re owned by the same guy so that makes up for it or something.

Ugh.

Read Pierce’s erroneous but now corrected post at Esquire.

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