In an article about a protest in support of the Theodore Roosevelt statue outside the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, the New York Times misquoted The Federalist’s David Marcus and then removed the quote rather than correcting it. Marcus had organized the protest against the museum’s recent decision to remove the Roosevelt statue.
“We are fighting over the last will and testament of the United States,” the New York Times quoted Marcus as saying. Marcus, The Federalist’s New York correspondent, actually said the opposite.
His full quote was: “We are not step-siblings squabbling over the last will and testament of the United States.”
“We are full-blooded brothers and sisters,” Marcus continued in the rest of the quote, which the Times included. “And [we are] heirs to the most extraordinary experiment in freedom that the world has ever known.”
As soon as he noticed the error, Marcus reached out to the author and requested a correction. Rather than replacing the inaccurate quote with the correct one, the New York Times simply removed the quote in question from the article entirely and blamed an unclear recording of Marcus’ words.
“I prefer to blame incompetence, which is overstocked at The NY Times for errors like this,” Marcus said in reaction to the Times’ misquote. “But in this case, I believe they purposefully distorted my remarks for a political agenda that they cannot defend by honest means.”
The Daily Mail also picked up the story and included the incorrect quote from the Times article, but it has yet to issue a correction.
The Post Millennial, however, published the quote correctly.