Damien LaVera, a spokesman for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman told Business Insider he didn’t ask the New York Observer to correct a controversial story it published about Schneiderman last Tuesday. However, LaVera said there were no shortage of mistakes in the story.
“It would be virtually impossible to request a correction on a 7,000 word story that is littered with factual errors from the opening anecdote all the way down to the very last quote,” LaVera said in an email Friday.
The Observer’s 7,247 word profile of Schneiderman, which accused him of “a pattern of political opportunism,” drew an almost immediate backlash because the attorney general is currently suing Donald Trump’s investment program, Trump University, for allegedly defrauding students. Trump is the father-in-law of Observer publisher Jared Kushner. A lengthy segment of the Observer profile discussed Schneiderman’s suit and quoted extensively from Trump and 98percentapproval.com, a website launched by Trump to tell his side of the story.
Observer editor-in-chief Ken Kurson, who worked on the profile responded to the paper’s critics with a column Friday in which he noted Schneiderman’s office had not disputed the facts in the story.
“With all the coverage, all the ludicrous suggestions that the Observer‘s publisher or his father in law ‘ordered up’ a story, no one has challenged the reporting. And the Attorney General’s office hasn’t asked anything be corrected,” Kurson wrote.
However, LaVera insisted to Business Insider it would not have made sense to ask for the story to be corrected.
“Asking for a correction to this story would be about as effective as asking Mr. Trump to correct the facts on his anti-Schneiderman website,” said LaVera.
Kurson declined to comment on this story.
The two issues noted by LaVera include an anecdote at the beginning of the story about a breakfast attended by Schneiderman and attorney Steve Cohen. Initially, the story said Cohen once “worked for” Schneiderman when it was published online. He did not. Later on, the story was later changed to note Cohen “helped” Schneiderman when he first took office. The second issue noted by LaVera was a quote from Citizens Budget Commission President Carol Kellermann. In the quote, Kellermann criticised Schneiderman for deciding how to spend a portion of the $US613 million New York received from JPMorgan Chase over the company’s actions during the financial crisis.
“Funds paid in settlement of litigation with the state, unless intended to compensate for specific losses, should be used as determined through the normal budget and appropriation process,” Kellermann said.
However, Schneiderman’s lawsuit against JPMorgan cited the specific losses of customers who purchased residential mortgage-backed securities from the firm.
Disclosure: Hunter Walker worked for the New York Observer from late 2011 until early 2013.
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