By Justin Sink
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has stepped up his critique of a New York Times profile, demanding that the newspaper issue a front-page retraction.
Issa has blasted the story, which was published earlier this week and examined connections between his private businesses and his congressional work, as an unfair attack story that included falsehoods.
The Times has stood by the story.
The central conceit of the article was that Issa’s network of investments and businesses might be benefiting from earmarks and regulatory actions the congressman undertook.
Issa’s office claims 13 errors or omissions in total.
“The request for a full front-page retraction is based on numerous errors that invalidate the primary assertions made in the story that is a false and sensationalized account Rep. Issa’s efforts to conduct congressional oversight of the Obama administration and other matters,” Issa spokesman Frederick Hill said.
While the Times has corrected its story to say that Issa’s holding company is valued in the millions, not billions, of dollars, the paper has otherwise stood by its reporting.
“We believe the story to be an accurate and fair account,” Danielle Rhoades Ha, the Times’s director of communications, said. “Of course, we are looking at any factual issues his staff has raised.”
Issa argues the article’s conclusions were drawn from a series of reporting errors.
For example, he argues the paper underreported the sale price of a medical complex Issa purchased, resulting in an erroneous estimate of its appreciation due to earmarks requested by the congressman for highway expansion nearby.
Issa also argues his car electronics company was not a “major supplier” to Toyota, a car company the congressman was investigating in 2010; and that Issa’s family foundation did not receive unique investment opportunities at steep discounts that enabled substantial profits.