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Reuters' 'Backdoor taxes to hit middle class' story withdrawn after White House complaint

By Rachel Weiner
The White House succeeded Monday night in getting Reuters to pull an unfavorable, inaccurate story about tax policy that had been featured on the Drudge Report.

The story claimed that the Obama administration planned to reduce the deficit by allowing middle class tax cuts to expire. Hours later the story was taken offline, replaced with a notice explaining that the facts were wrong. The note initially said that a replacement version would come out later this week; it was later revised to say that "there will be no substitute story." Wrote Reuters:

The Feb 1 story headlined "Backdoor taxes to hit middle class" is wrong and has been withdrawn. The story said lower-income families will pay more under tax provisions scheduled to expire Dec 31. The Obama administration's budget calls for the extension of those tax provisions for households earning less than $250,000. There will be no substitute story.

The story was taken down Monday night, but still led the conservative Drudge Report at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. Later, the website added that it had been pulled.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton tweeted about the incident.

A White House official told Talking Points Memo that they reached out to Reuters to point out factual errors in the piece.

"The story went out, and it shouldn't have gone out," said Courtney Dolan, a spokeswoman for Reuters. "It had significant errors of fact."

An official told TPM that Reuters' White House team "worked to quickly remedy the situation and helped get the story completely withdrawn."

By Rachel Weiner  |  February 2, 2010; 5:23 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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How amazing that some posters here actually do not have a problem with the story being aired - they actually blame Obama! Are you people so desperate and out of real ideas that anything that portrays Obama poorly - true or not-is OK? Does the truth really, really, not matter anymore? If Obama is as bad as you think he is, then you should have no problem sticking to the facts. But that's the problem. Usually the facts DON'T support your crusade to "break Obama", so you resort to lies, exagerations, cherry picking, and so on. Shame, shame on you!!!

Posted by: theprofessor | February 3, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Hey I've got an idea. Why doesn't everyone who posts read the things that you're posting about! We all know that Fox,CNN,MSNBC , is NOT news! They all have their own agenda's so stop watching them. Some folks may think that PBS is left leaning for some of their programming, but I find the news unbiased. It's a whole lot better than the cable guys. Seek the truth,not just the 'news' source that spews opinions that you are persuaded (brainwashed) to believe. Finding the truth takes work! Read the actual documents instead of someones biased cliff notes. The Rueters story was/is blatently untrue. Read it,read the propsed budget and any intelligent person will agree.Don't be sheep-this country deserves better than a bunch of blind followers.

Posted by: bluecollarbluejeans | February 3, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

So Many Lies............ Who do we believe anymore?Who is there left to vote for?We all know the middle class that is dwindling very fast, will be continued to be taken advantage of because they seem to be the only ones who care about America. When they go, So will America.go.It is a disgrace what has been allowed to happen to America by our own leaders.Power Hungry, Corrupt, Evil, Greedy. individuals ways............WHO IS RUNNING OUR COUNTRY ANYHOW?????

Posted by: peggydlhk | February 3, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Significant errors of fact? Say it 'aint so.

When are we going to understand that gossip requires investigation BEFORE it is reported?


Posted by: trident420 | February 3, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Reuters is no longer a neutral source. It has definitely gotten a right-wing agenda. The Christian Science Monitor too. I don't know where to find good investigative reporting anymore.

Posted by: wdague | February 3, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Reuters is no longer a neutral source. It has definitely gotten a right-wing agenda. The Christian Science Monitor too. I don't know where to find good investigative reporting anymore.

Posted by: wdague | February 3, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Well the story has been found and it is being posted on every site I know.I sent it to friends and family and posted it to facebook,myspace and saved it to a folder.Read it and you'll know why Obama wanted to have it pulled he can't tell the truth he only knows how to BLAME AND LIE.

Posted by: jeanweingartner | February 3, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Ofcourse the White House complained.It was supposed to be a surprise.

Posted by: Imarkex | February 3, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

The right wing is ramping up its FUD efforts. Must be an election year. Just keep in mind who is doing the lying (death panels?) and who is not. Listen to the teabaggers, who believe the ends justify the means while they wrap themselves in a flag and carry a cross while they lie. A sad example of humanity they will make for future generations to read about, and shake their heads wondering how people could willingly follow such a deranged movement.

Posted by: Fate1 | February 2, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a failure...a big ole flop.

Posted by: thatsright2 | February 2, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Matt Drudge is a cross dressing, drug addicted man that has a fetish for young kids boys in particular.

Matt runs his office out of the bathroom stalls in Union Station.

Reuters please pick up this story then retract after millions readers had a good laugh.

Posted by: blkisin | February 2, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Looks to me like the Man Child currently playing in the Oval Office also has a thin skin when it comes to criticism in the media !!!

Would Barry care to elaborate on why many of his Campaign Promises were also lies ???

Posted by: thgirbla | February 2, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

You mean Drudge lied again. How shocking.

Posted by: vztownes | February 2, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: donaldtucker | February 2, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

I read the story and was probably thinking the same thing the White House did; how could this be published by a reputable news outfit? Would not be surprised if it was a GOP/Drudge hack job that got it published.

No problem with any White House combating factually inefficient media reports...

Posted by: parkerfl1 | February 2, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Drudge has gotten "facts" wrong over and over again. Why Reuters would risk their reputation and associate with him shows how lazy and cynical the media has become.

Posted by: rlj1 | February 2, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

This is a White House in favor of free speech and freedom of the press? LOL.

Why is Obama afraid of criticism? Every statement he makes gets tons of coverage.

Sure, attacking Fox News didn't work out in the end for him, but it did keep CNN and networks from reporting his falling poll results for a while.

Everyone knows that Obama will raise taxes on the middle class while he is office.

Posted by: Delongl | February 2, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

The irrational Libs attack Drudge when all he did was link the Reuters story. The Libs would prefer to cover up the truth contained within Barry's budget scheme, as would Barry. LOL !

Posted by: jas7751 | February 2, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Mathew Drudge is a republican liar, plain and simple.
Why would Reuters expect anything more from him?

Posted by: jeffc6578 | February 2, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse


Is that clown still around?

Are he and Man Coulter still bearding for each other?

Posted by: WhatHeSaid | February 2, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Reuters pays Drudge money to link to Reuters' story. That's why Reuters hypes Drudge's sloppy work. It's a mutual understanding that benefits both parties financially. Feel free to read the following article written on November, 2009 by Gawker, entitled, "Bizarre Love Triangle: Breitbart, Reuters, and the Drudge Report":

Posted by: kingsbridge77 | February 2, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

i wonder what accompanied the drudge report announcement of the story being pulled

Posted by: j762 | February 2, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

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