New York Times Issues Multiple Corrections to Story Attacking Mark Dubowitz, FDD Over Iran Nuclear Deal

New York Times

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The New York Times on Wednesday issued multiple corrections to a story that wrongly linked Mark Dubowitz's think tank to Israel's Likud political party and overestimated his yearly salary.

Gardiner Harris' piece, which appeared in Monday's print edition, reported on criticism of the Iran nuclear deal from Dubowitz and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, for which he serves as chief executive. The story quoted multiple supporters of the nuclear accord who were furious with Dubowitz for suggesting he wanted to see the deal fixed rather than scrapped. President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the agreement last week, angering Obama administration officials.

The Times wrote Wednesday that the report's claim that Dubowitz's salary in 2016 was nearly double those of his counterparts at other Washington, D.C. think tanks was inaccurate.

"An earlier version of this article referred imprecisely to the salary of Mark Dubowitz, the chief executive of Foundation for Defense of Democracies, when compared with those of leaders of other Washington think tanks," the Times wrote in its correction. "Mr. Dubowitz's $560,221 compensation in 2016 was determined by the foundation's board of directors and is commensurate with the average annual salary of other think tank leaders in Washington in recent years. It is not nearly twice as much as the salaries of his counterparts."

The initial story also directly linked FDD to the conservative Likud party in Israel, which is led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"The article also inaccurately linked the foundation to Israel's Likud party," the Times wrote in the correction. "While the think tank does align with some of Likud's positions, it is not directly involved with the party."

The newspaper also had to correct figures related to funding of conferences held by FDD and the Hudson Institute, another think tank.

"The article also referred imprecisely to the funding of conferences held by the foundation and the Hudson Institute. While Elliott Broidy provided $2.7 million in funds for consulting, marketing, and other services, the foundation says it received only $360,000 from Mr. Broidy for one conference," the Times correction said.

The article quoted multiple progressive figures who were strongly supportive of the Iran nuclear deal and angry with Dubowitz, who vocally opposed the agreement. No allies of Dubowitz were quoted in it.

Harris linked to the Atlantic Council's Barbara Slavin tweeting that Dubowitz would "own the consequences" of the U.S. withdrawing from the nuclear accord. Slavin is an Al Monitor columnist who was once caught flipping off anti-Iran dissident protesters.

Harris also quoted Jon Wolfsthal, the top arms control official in President Barack Obama's White House, calling Dubowitz a "moderate enabler of extremism" and a "moderate peddler of lies and half-truths … You own this." Wolfsthal recently called new White House National Security Adviser John Bolton a "security threat" in an op-ed.

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