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[casi] FAIR: NYTimes Corrects Iraq Inspections Myth

                    Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting
               Media analysis, critiques and activism

Times Corrects Iraq Inspections Myth

October 7, 2003

In the wake of a FAIR action alert, the New York Times printed the
following correction on Saturday, October 4:

An article on Wednesday about renewed criticism of the Bush administration
for its handling of intelligence before the Iraq war misstated the
circumstances under which international weapons inspectors left Iraq in
1998. They were withdrawn by the United Nations, not expelled by Saddam

Hundreds of FAIR activists wrote to the Times after a recent report
(9/29/03) repeated as fact a charge by Secretary of State Colin Powell
that weapons inspectors were thrown out of the country in 1998.  According
to the Times, "Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, in a television
appearance today, noted that the Iraqi leader threw weapons inspectors out
in 1998, making it more difficult for intelligence agencies to get hard
information."  In fact, as FAIR's action alert pointed out, the inspectors
were not kicked out, but were removed by team leader Richard Butler right
before an American bombing campaign.  The Times had corrected the same
error three years earlier (2/2/00).

The TV program on which Powell made the false statement, ABC's This Week
(9/28/03), has yet to correct the error.

FAIR thanks the many activists who took the time to write to the Times
about this matter.  For the record, the error was in Monday's edition of
the paper, not in Wednesday's, as the Times indicated in its correction.

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