It seems that the Washington Post still requires a bit of help sticking to the facts on Iran. An article in yesterday’s Post, entitled “Center for American Progress, group tied to Obama, under fire from Israel advocates,” featured the following passage (emphasis mine):
At the same time, Israel’s supporters worry that Iran’s quest for a nuclear weapon and greater instability in the Middle East pose existential threats to Israel.
Hm. “Iran’s quest for a nuclear weapon.” Sounds awfully familiar. Where have we heard that before?
Oh, yes. Recall that, way back in December, Just Foreign Policy initiated a campaign to get the Washington Post to correct a photo gallery headline, which originally read, “Iran’s quest to possess nuclear weapons.” The ombudsman, Patrick Pexton, agreed that the headline was “misleading,” and the Post corrected it to read, “Iran’s quest to possess nuclear technology.” The mishap was blamed on the tricky nature of the headline creating process.
This time, however, the object of Iran’s quest wasn’t being mulled by an uninformed photo or copy editor–a journalist or editor, who should have known better, was responsible.
To his credit, Mr. Pexton responded to my email in a prompt fashion, and the offending passage was revised shortly thereafter–about six hours after the article was originally published. The passage now reads (emphasis mine):
At the same time, Israel’s supporters worry that greater instability in the Middle East and Iran’s quest for nuclear technology pose threats to Israel.
Unfortunately, no formal correction was issued, nor was the timestamp on the article updated. As the article was the most popular Post article at the end of the day, publishing a correction would have been quite a victory for truth.
At least the Washington Post knows we’re still watching them. And perhaps now, Mr. Pexton will consider sending out that internal memo telling his colleagues to be careful what mighty quests they attribute to Iran.