Los Angeles Times Corrects One Laura King Error, Leaves the Other Standing

CAMERA staff and members prompted the following Los Angeles Times correction on correspondent Laura King’s April 24 article which grossly overstated the number of Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war:

Error (Los Angeles Times, Laura King. 4/24/04): Palestinians were angered and demoralized by the U.S. endorsement last week of Sharon’s “disengagement” plan, which they say bypasses negotiations on a range of key issues, including the fate of millions of Palestinian refugees who fled or were driven out during Israel’s 1948 war of independence.

Correction (4/29/04): Palestinian refugees–An article Saturday in Section A about an Israeli threat against Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat incorrectly stated that millions of Palestinians fled or were driven out of their homes during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. In fact, that figure refers to the refugees, who numbered in the hundreds of thousands, and their descendants.

Editors, however, declined to correct a second error in King’s article that day. She misrepresented the Israeli army description of West Bank raids:

Error (Los Angeles Times, Laura King, 4/24/04): Also Friday, Israel staged a series of raids in the West Bank that the army described as hunts for wanted Palestinian militants. Undercover troops killed three Palestinian men in an early-morning ambush in the town of Kalkilya, Palestinian witnesses said.

Fact: According to an IDF spokesman, in beeper messages and verbally the army described the raids as hunts for wanted Palestinian “terrorists.” Contrary to King’s statement, the army did not “describe [the raids] as hunts for wanted Palestinian militants” (emphasis added).

NPR has twice corrected equivalent errors–on July 21, 2003 and again on April 26, 2004. Los Angeles Times editors refused to correct on the grounds that it was not a direct quotation.

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