Yesterday, the LA Times ran a small, rather mundane correction on its op-ed page.
Free speech: A March 9 Op-Ed about the erosion of free-speech protections referred to a controversy over 2005 cartoons that satirized the prophet Muhammad. Those cartoons were Danish, not Dutch.
Not a big deal. This Fishie once mistook Lake Forrest for Lakewood and got annihilated for it. It happens. Only one problem: a Times reader dug up the fact that Dutch/Danish mixup had happened not once, but no less than seven times in the past few years. Times reader representative Deirdre Edgar cataloged the errors in a post–which including another Dutch/Danish Muhammad cartoon screw-up.
Assistant managing editor Henry Fuhrmann was not pleased at the discovery.
“One aspect of good editing is what I think of as pattern recognition: knowing the quirks of a particular writer, the nuances of a certain subject, the grammatical and factual errors that come up time and time again. Here, though, the pattern defies explanation.
“Errors of this sort are always a good reminder that we can be more diligent. We truly have nothing against the Danes (or the Dutch).”
We here at FishbowlLA would love to judge. It’s what we do. But even though this Fishie happens to be among the original members of the Danish-Puerto Rican society, and therefore particularly sensitive to Danish/Dutch mix-ups, he refuses to cast the first stone. At least not until he has a copy editing team backing him up. Or he learns the basics of grammar and sentence construction.