DOJ officially retracts ‘$16 dollar a muffin’ story
The Department of Justice (DOJ) officially retracted a report that it paid an average of $16 for muffins at a 2009 conference at a Hilton hotel, a story that most media outlets — particularly Fox News — initially jumped on as an ideal example of “government waste.”
On Friday afternoon, the DOJ’s inspector general released the report titled “Audit of Department of Justice Conference Planning Food and Beverage Costs,” which featured this statement: “After further review of the newly provided documentation and information, and after discussions with the Capital Hilton and the Department, we determined that our initial conclusions concerning the itemized costs of refreshments at the EOIR conference were incorrect and that the Department did not pay $16 per muffin.”
After initially giving solid coverage to the story, most networks’ response to both the Hilton hotel and the DOJ’s correction of the muffin expenses has not exactly contained the same fervor.
The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein noted that only 37 out of 223 articles published on the story issued a correction. Media Matters also showed that both print and broadcast were culpable for a lack of correction, with major network morning and evening news shows failing to issue any follow up on the initial story when its validity was in question.
However, there was one outlet who finally reported on the myth. After the DOJ’s statement, ABC World News issued a follow-up later in the evening.
WATCH: Video from ABC News, which was broadcast on October 28, 2011.
Updated: CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 has also issued a follow-up.