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Mistakes Schmakes

Deb Howell spent yesterday’s column going over the Post’s corrections policy. Her conclusion: The Post’s system is pretty broken for a modern, digital, fast-moving age. The paper doesn’t correct enough things, fast enough, and in the logical place.

“To make its system more accountable, The Post needs a corrections overseer who would act as an appeals court judge and sign off on all corrections — and who would see what correction requests were rejected. That would ensure a more uniform standard. Many newspapers that have ombudsmen or public editors as employees use that avenue for corrections. The Post’s ombudsman has always been an independent contractor — a system I like — and it is more appropriate for a top editor to be in charge of corrections,” she observes.

Of course, better-trained photo pickers would also help. The Reliable Source last week failed twice trying to publish a photograph of singer John Rich:

Mistake #1: “A Reliable Source item in the May 2 Style section was accompanied by an incorrect photograph. The man identified as John Rich from the duo Big & Rich was actually Keith Burns, guitarist for Trick Pony.”

Mistake #2: “A Reliable Source item in the May 4 Style section was accompanied by an incorrect photograph. Because of a mislabeled caption on a photo provided by Getty Images, the man identified as John Rich of Big & Rich was actually Big Kenny, the other member of the duo.”

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Voicemail Can Be So Complicated!

Gabe Sherman points us to an amusing note in the NYT that we missed: Evidently the ole Gray Lady, um, sort of missed the boat on a story because one of the reporters involved forget to check voicemail.

Scooter Libby “corrected” some of his explosive testimony this week in a court filing, and the Washington Post got ahold of it for Wednesday’s paper. The Times, not so much.

The Times, however, did publish the new information yesterday, and explained in an Editor’s Note, a voicemail and an email with the information “went unnoticed.”

You know sometimes it’s probably better just not admitting that.

Beware That Hoagie

However bad your day was yesterday, it probably wasn’t as bad as the AP staffer who mistakenly moved this news alert regarding the death of Dana Reeve:

“NEW YORK (AP)–A spokesman for the Christopher Reeve Foundation says that Dana Reeve has died of lunch cancer at the age of 44.”

It’s a good warning to everyone: Never work hungry.


Washington Life, the soon-to-be Vanity Fair of D.C., had a little mailing list error.

A flyer went out this week to Washington Life’s list plugging pricey fitness hot spot The Sports Club/LA. Unfortunately, the email went out under the name of Jayne Sandman–who hasn’t worked for the magazine in two years and now works at the competitor Capitol File.

Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us.

Invite after the jump.

Read more

Correction Intrigue

A fascinating and intriguing correction from Karen Feld‘s gossip column:

Karen Feld’s August 19, 2005 “Buzz” column discussed several contacts made by Kathy Benz, an assignment editor at CNN. The column said Ms. Benz had been linked romantically with nine men. We now believe we were the target of an Internet “spoofer” who used an email address that appeared to come from another news organization.

Ms. Benz has filed a lawsuit against The Washington Examiner regarding this column; while we ordinarily would not comment on pending litigation, we have learned that Mark Kulkis was interviewed by Ms. Benz but they never had a relationship of any kind. In her complaint, Ms. Benz says that she dated Gary Williams, Paul Bosserman and John Daggett, but did not date the other men mentioned in the column. We regret the errors.

We did not intend to suggest any improper relationship or misuse of her position at CNN and apologize to Ms. Benz for any offense taken.

Anyone have more information on this from Benz’s side or more details on the lawsuit?

‘Hard News’ Corrected

If you’re a devotee of the ole Gray Lady, then make sure to catch Fishtern Maureen Miller‘s review of Seth Mnookin‘s “Hard News,” now out in paperback with a special “corrections section.”

Nothing says “well-researched” quite like three pages of corrections to a book just a few months old.

Mnookin argues that they’re mostly minor corrections, and that it is, indeed, the sign of a well-researched book that he wanted to correct what few errors existed in the work as soon as possible.


From Hotline’s Last Call:

Tomorrow’s Corrections Today: Despite having the same picture in Washington Post Express, OR Gov. Ted Kulongoski (D) and J.D. Killen are not the same person.

That’s So Gaye

wtcorrection060805.jpgDCRTV points to a correction in today’s Washington Times:

“The Washington Times yesterday inadvertently published a photograph of DC City Administrator Robert C. Bobb (left) misidentified as the late soul singer Marvin Gaye (right)”

Sometimes the jokes are just too easy. We’ll let you fill in your own here.

MSNBC’s White Ho Reporter


A tipster passes along an embarrassing gaffe on MSNBC recently.

The Next Generation?

In his blog reading, Kurtz discovered a New York Times editor’s note we can’t believe hasn’t gotten more laughs:

An article on May 6 described a demonstration at Princeton University against the proposal by Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader and a Princeton graduate and board member, to bar filibusters on judicial nominees. The writer, a freelance contributor who is a Princeton student, did not disclose to The Times that before she was assigned the article, she had participated in the demonstration.

At least she didn’t make up anything in the article — better to be biased than lie, right? But then again, WHAT was she thinking???