July 11, 2013

Edward Snowden (Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras/The Guardian Newspaper)

On Tuesday afternoon, Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus told the Erik Wemple Blog that a correction was in process for a column he’d written about NSA leaker Edward Snowden and Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald. Media watchers spent much of Wednesday wondering just when it would appear.

Then it surfaced, answering all questions about the delay in publication. As it turns out, The Post was taking a close look at a set of objections posed by Greenwald and formulating a thorough pat-down of the story. Just the way a newspaper should.

Here’s the correction:

A previous version of this Fine Print column incorrectly said that an article by journalist Glenn Greenwald was written for the WikiLeaks Press blog.The article, about filmmaker Laura Poitras and WikiLeaks being targeted by U.S. officials, was written for the online publication Salon and first appeared April 8, 2012. Its appearance on the WikiLeaks Press blog two days later was a reposting.

This version has been corrected.

A previous version of the column also asserted that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, during a May 29 interview with Democracy Now, “previewed” the story that Greenwald wrote for the Guardian newspaper about the Obama administration’s involvement in the collection of Americans’ phone records. There is no evidence that Assange had advance knowledge of the story; the assertion was based on a previously published interview in which Assange discussed an earlier surveillance project involving the collection of phone records.The assertion has been taken out of this version.

The column also does not mention Snowden’s past work in the intelligence community. The lack of this context may have created the impression that Snowden’s work for Booz Allen Hamilton gave him his first access to classified surveillance programs.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.