info 07.7.04

We Regret the Error

Clueless Header Found in Mindless Rag
The Post's front page, large font screwup yesterday, declaring Gephardt to be Kerry's running mate choice, goes down in the annals. Plenty of people were amused, in a schadenfreude sort of way, but no one was all that surprised. Facts aren't where the Post shines.

That's where the Times is supposed to come in. But setting aside some of the recent serious issues that paper has faced, there have been some enjoyable howlers over the years, which were collected in a book called Kill Duck Before Serving: Red Faces at the New York Times edited by Linda Amster and Dylan Loeb McClain. Here are a few of our favorites:



April 25, 1981
An article about decorative cooking incorrectly described a presentation of Muscovy duck by Michel Fitoussi, a New York chef. In preparing it, Mr. Fitoussi uses a duck that has been killed.

October 22, 2000
An article about Ivana Trump and her spending habits misstated the number of bras she buys. It is two dozen black, two dozen beige, and two dozen white, not 2,000 of each.

March 17, 1986
A Miami dispatch about Frank A. Sturgis, a Watergate burglar who says he will try to reopen his case, described Federal District Judge John J. Sirica incorrectly. He is alive.

March 11, 1975
In yesterday's issue, The New York Times did not report on riots in Milan and the subsequent murder of the lay religious reformer Erlembald. These events took place in 1075, the year given in the dateline under the nameplate on Page 1. The Times regrets both incidents.

July 14, 1985
An [sic] report on June 23 in the Briefing column of the Washington Talk page misidentified the document on which John Hancock put his famous prominent signature. It was the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution.

May 30, 1993
Because of a transmission error, an interview in the Egos & Ids column on May 16 with Mary Matalin, the former deputy manager of the Bush campaign who is a co-host of a new talk show on CNBC, quoted her incorrectly on the talk show host Rush Limbaugh. She said he was "sui generis," not "sweet, generous."

March 5, 1996
Because of a transcription error, an article about Marcia Robinson Lowry, a lawyer and head of the Children's Rights Project, included an erroneous description. The first sentence should have begun "Attorney Marcia Robinson Lowry," not "A tiny Marcia Robinson Lowry." (Ms. Lowry is 5 foot 7.)

July 24, 1995
An article about Governor Pete Wilson's role in eliminating affirmative-action programs at University of California campuses rendered a word incorrectly in a quotation from Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a former legislative aide. Ms. Jeffe said of Mr. Wilson: "He's been biding his time on this, knowing all along what he was going to do when the time was ripe. It's ripe. He's picked." She did not say, "He's pickled."
Outrage Nation
Before there was Air America, there was Outrage Nation, started by two New Yorkers, Michael Tulipan and James Linkin. Whatever your political persuasion, you might want to hear the interview just posted on the site with Lt. Paul Rieckhoff , who served in Iraq and has returned. It's a point of view we don't hear much of: what it's like serving on the front lines in that country.

Democracy is Like Sex
This Thursday night, 8pm in Williamsburg, there's a benefit for IndyVoter.org, ActiveElement.org and XtheBox.org, all of which are working to get out the vote in under-served communities. It's called Democracy is Like Sex: It's Only Good When You Participate, costs $20 and details are here (click on July 8 in the calendar).


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