Jennifer Steinhauer, the NYT, and reprinting false administration talking points as fact

Check out this “fact” that NYT reporter Jennifer Steinhauer reported in her article the other day about DADT:

To begin with, the administration, compelled to defend existing laws, may well appeal the ruling by Judge Virginia A. Phillips of Federal District Court in California declaring the existing policy unconstitutional. (A similar dynamic occurred when the administration defended the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 statute that puts obstacles in front of legal recognition for same-sex marriages, despite Mr. Obama’s opposition to the act.)

Wow, the administration is “compelled” to defend existing laws. Really? Where did Jennifer Steinhauer come up with that idea? What law compels the administration to defend existing law? Come on, we’re waiting. If they’re compelled to do it, then it must illegal for them not to do it. Where’s the law that says this?

How can a NYT reporter cite something as fact, unattributed – something we know to be flat out untrue?

And why didn’t the reporter report on the widely-known fact that previous administrations haven’t defended existing law in the courts? Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and then Bush II all refused to defend existing law in the courts. They weren’t compelled. So why did NYT reporter Jennifer Steinhauer report, as fact, that they are?

Look, I’m sure she was either talking to the administration or one of their paid apologists, both of whom have a provent Pinocchio problem when discussing Obama and gay politics. But that’s no excuse for the newspaper of record reporting a lie as fact.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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