Topic: Accuracy in Media
A May 9 Accuracy in Media article by Jennifer Verner keeps up AIM's attack on Washington Post reporter Dana Priest over her Pulitzer-winning series exposing the CIA's secret prisons. This time around, Verner plays the guilt-by-association card by attacking Priest's husband, William Goodfellow, "a far-left political activist and current executive director of the Center for International Policy (CIP), who has been at the vanguard of many of the most rabid attacks on Bush Administration policy." But Verner engages in some wobbly research to back up her claims.
According to Verner:
In 1974, he [Goodfellow] wrote a widely circulated op-ed for the New York Times that served to excuse the genocidal Pol Pot's forced evacuation of the Cambodian people from the cities. The piece was so influential that it is still quoted by Noam Chomsky and his followers to this day.
Verner gets the date wrong; Goodfellow's op-ed actually appeared July 14, 1975. As to Verner's suggestion that the op-ed was "widely circulated" beyond its Times appearance, searches on Google and Nexis failed to turn up a complete copy of it. Nexis contains an abstract summary, while two paragraphs of it appear (and have been repeated) on the Internet.
Verner also offers no evidence to support her claim that the op-ed is "quoted by Noam Chomsky and his followers to this day." A search of the archive of Chomsky's Z Magazine turned up only one reference to Goodfellow's op-ed: a June 1977 article co-written by Chomsky citing Goodfellow's claim regarding "the testimony of U.S. AID officials that Phnom Penh had only a six-day supply of rice."
Verner also attacks Joseph Wilson, who was a speaker at a CIP conference, claiming that his "statements about what he found in Africa and his wife's role in his mission have been completely undermined by a Senate Intelligence Committee report." In fact, much of the Senate Intelligence Committee report's "undermining" of Wilson appears not in the body of the report but, rather, in a partisan addendum written by Republicans.
These are just two paragraphs out of Verner's commentary; this provides a good reason to assume that the rest of it is similarly loosely researched.