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Love Means Never Having To Say You're Sorry: NY Times Wants Fox To Apologize For Claiming Paper's Leak Led To Terrorist Escape

The New York Times’ demand for an apology from Twenty-First Century Fox Inc FOX 0.42% is part of a long line of media mea culpas either granted or denied for slights real or perceived.

The newspaper asked the Fox News show "Fox & Friends" to retract a report that the Times (parent company New York Times Co NYT 0.83%) was to blame for the 2015 escape of a Islamic State terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

"I am writing on behalf of The New York Times to request an on-air apology and tweet from Fox & Friends in regards to a malicious and inaccurate segment 'NY Times leak allowed ISIS leader to slip away,'” wrote Danielle Rhoades Ha, vice president of communications for the Times.

The "Fox & Friends" report, which aired Saturday, triggered an

on Twitter Inc TWTR 1.04% by President Donald Trump: “The Failing New York Times foiled U.S. attempt to kill the single most wanted terrorist, al-Baghdadi,” the president wrote later Saturday. “Their sick agenda over National Security.”

Later Sunday, Fox linked the New York Times letter to its original story and issued this statement: "The FoxNews.com story was already updated online and Fox & Friends will also provide an updated story to viewers tomorrow morning based on the FoxNews.com report. For all of their concern about accuracy, the New York Times didn't reach out to anyone at Fox News until Sunday afternoon for a story that ran Friday night."

Apologies are like snowflakes: No two are identical.

Consider:

  • Trump tweeted in March a reminder to his followers that the New York Times had apologized for its coverage of his campaign. “Remember when the failing @nytimes apologized to its subscribers, right after the election, because their coverage was so wrong? Now worse! The paper said it had done .
  • El Nacional, the oldest and most respected newspaper in the Dominican Republic, apologized in February for running a photo that was meant to be Donald Trump, but was actually actor Alec Baldwin made up to look like Trump for his various “Saturday Night Live” sketches.
  • In June, CNN apologized after retracting a story on its website that a Russian bank linked to a close ally of Trump was under Senate investigation. Three high-ranking journalists at the network resigned.
  • CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert refused to apologize to Trump for making a joking reference to a sex act involving the president and Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
  • Also in May, comic Kathy Griffin apologized for a photo of her holding a prop made up to look like Trump’s decapitated head.
  • The Hartford Courant of Connecticut, in a front-page story, apologized for its “complicity” in the slave trade, admitting that it profited in the 1700s and 1800s by publishing scores of ads for the sale of slaves and the recapture of runaways.
  • In February, Russia demanded an apology from then-Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly for referring to Putin as “a killer.”
  • Also in February, the Bryan-College Station Eagle apologized for an error on Tuesday when its front page said Trump was replacing Mike Pence with Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster.
    • McMaster was actually replacing former National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn, who lied to FBI investigators about contact with Russian officials prior to Trump's inauguration.
  • Since beginning his presidential campaign, Trump has refused to apologize for mocking a disabled reporter, making comments alluding to his style of sexual assault of women, or besmirching the parents of a U.S. serviceman killed in Iraq.

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