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Friday, September 30, 2005

More Times Trouble

I wrote this earlier this week about a correction issued in the NY Times by the public editor, Brian Calame. I like this guy. He has no problem trashing the standards of corrections as they exist in the paper now. This time, he criticizes columnist Frank Rich for refusing to correct a mistake in a previous column. It seems that Rich wrote a piece alleging that Rich - and other Times columnists - all either made or perpetuated the same mistake regarding the appointment of Michael Brown as FEMA's head.
While minor in normal times, the mistake has been made a total of four times by three Op-Ed columnists attacking cronyism—and once in a news article. In all five instances, Joe Allbaugh, President Bush’s 2000-campaign manager and a former head of FEMA, and Michael Brown, his successor at FEMA, were described variously as college roommates, college buddies or college friends.

In fact, the two men didn’t even attend the same college. While they have been friends for 25 years, a spokeswoman for Mr. Allbaugh said they didn’t know each other during their years at different Oklahoma colleges.
Rich went on to correct the error as a parenthetical buried in a subsequent column, but did not issue it in correction form until after the Calame column was published, and the Rich column with the untrue allegation is still available to be read with no indication that the information contained within is in error. Now, obviously there are other points to be made in defense of the suggestion that Michael Brown was appointed due to cronyism, but this is just not one of them.

The good news is, the Times is extremely careful in its standards when it comes to corrections like this one, published in the Times yesterday:
The About New York column yesterday, about an imagined conversation with God at a Manhattan diner, referred incorrectly to the Bible to which the thickness of the menu was likened. It is the King James Version, not St. James.
Okay, then. So we're clear.


Blogger Chaim said...

It's these types of stories that are the reason why people like myself think the NY Times is pretentious and elitist. I have no desire to read a paper that will make sure their living and arts section corrections are taken care of, but things like which colleges people involved in major stories went to are just plain wrong, and repeatedly used as partisan talking points.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Y.Y. said...

the NY times is old economy
you have some trash on matt drudge
i would love that

10:40 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I knew it!! Those bastards at the Times have been pushing St. James' agenda for years.

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Chaim, and you think FOX is so much holier?

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