Bush Ad Hullaballoo: Newsweak.

Hey, everybody: Remember how that Bush advisor told Newsweek that it was "cheaper and quicker" to use paid actors to portray firemen in the 9/11-themed ads? Well, apparently they decided that they could afford to spring a portion of that $160 million war-chest for some real firefighters after all. Newsweek, on the other hand, might consider investing some real. . . What do you call those? That's right: Fact-checkers.

No, no. Really, who are we to cast aspersions on another publication's reportorial missteps? At least they report a story. Twice, sometimes.

The piece on the Bush ads in last week's print and online editions included a Bush adviser not only confirming that the firefighters in the ad were fake, but defending the choice as thrifty. The online version of the piece then changed, apparently at the request of a Bush campaign spokesman, who provided proof to Newsweek that "the people in the ads were authentic volunteer firefighters." Apparently finding it cheaper and quicker to just alter web text rather than explain they'd gotten something wrong, the magazine disappeared the budget-minded adviser and put in his place text that said the firefighters were -- if also lifted from stock footage. Now Newsweek has restored the original version online, with a note admitting the authenticity of the firefighters and an explanation that the unannounced changes "were made in violation of Newsweek.com policy, which requires that substantive alterations be made in an accompanying editor’s note or correction."

What's a correction?

2004 Campaign: A 'Shocking' Stumble [Newsweek/MSNBC]

A Cheap, Quick Memorial [Wonkette]

Cheaper, Quicker and Paid Actors. With Birthday Hats. [Wonkette]


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