The New York Times issued four different corrections to an antagonistic, failed hit piece on Foundation for Defense of Democracies CEO Mark Dubowitz, who once opposed President Barack Obama's Iran nuclear pact.
The embarrassing article falsely claimed that Dubowitz “paid himself” nearly twice as much as his think-tank peers; that the FDD is linked to Israel’s Likud Party; and that a Republican donor with financial ties to the Emirates provided $2.7 million to fund an anti-Qatar conference.
None of those things are true.
The Times issued a lengthy correction explaining that a board of directors determined Dubowitz’s compensation, which is on par with other think-tank leaders; that the FDD is not directly involved with the Likud Party; and that donor Elliott Broidy gave $360,000 for the conference.
“What's left after the corrections is a dispatch about a think-tank exec with no genuine public-policy power who originally opposed the Iran deal, thought he could convince Trump to mend it without ending it, and is now getting flak from fever-swamp leftists who didn't like his original opposition,” Media Research Center contributing editor Tom Blumer wrote. “Why was this even a story in the first place?”
Blumer pointed out that, in addition to the four errors, it is hard to ignore the “hostility” that Times international diplomacy reporter Gardiner Harris apparently has toward Dubowitz and the FDD. The May 13 piece headlined, “He Was a Tireless Critic of the Iran Deal. Now He Insists He Wanted to Save It,” mentions Dubowitz “wears tailored French suits and keeps his curly hair just so.”
“Who except an angry, jealous, agenda-driven reporter would care about ‘tailored French suits’ and ‘keeping his curly hair just so’?”
Blumer asked, “Who except an angry, jealous, agenda-driven reporter would care about ‘tailored French suits’ and ‘keeping his curly hair just so’?”
The FDD is a non-profit group that bills itself as a non-partisan group with a “mission to promote pluralism, defend democratic values and fight the ideologies that drive terrorism.” Dubowitz, the group’s leader, was a robust adversary of Obama’s Iran nuclear deal back in 2015 but tried to save portions of it before President Trump announced that the United States would pull out. Harris apparently isn’t a fan of Dubowitz’s evolving position, as he attacked the FDD leader with a plethora of misinformation.
MRC's Blumer wrote that the piece is “uniquely embarrassing” because of the “sheer volume” of embarrassing gaffes in addition to “how easy it should have been for his editors to catch them.”
The entire correction states: “An article on Monday about Mark Dubowitz, the chief executive of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and his perspective on nuclear negotiations with Iran referred imprecisely to Mr. Dubowitz’s salary as compared with those of leaders of other Washington think tanks. Mr. Dubowitz’s $560,221 compensation in 2016 was determined by the foundation’s board of directors and is commensurate with the average annual salary of other think-tank leaders in Washington in recent years. It is not nearly twice as much as the salaries of his counterparts. The article also inaccurately linked the foundation to Israel’s Likud party. While the think tank does align with some of Likud’s positions, it is not directly involved with the party. The article also referred imprecisely to the funding of conferences held by the foundation and the Hudson Institute. While Elliott Broidy provided $2.7 million in funds for consulting, marketing and other services, the foundation says it received only $360,000 from Mr. Broidy for one conference.”