A Few Regrets

Friday, December 26, 2008


Craig Silverman, editor of the website (now a book)Regret the Error, joins us every December to catalogue journalism’s most egregious blunders of the past twelve months, some accidental some not. Guess what one newspaper misspelled on its front page.

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Comments [3]

David Rowe from Lawrenceville, NJ

I'd love to know when and error is not an error, and the difference between a correction and a retraction.

Just this weekend the NY Times did a front page story on Caroline Kennedy with the headline: "As candidate, Kennedy eloquent but elusive." Or at least it was going to be on the front page. This headline was posted on the website, which probably gets more eyeballs then the broadsheet. Hours later, the headline was changed to "As candidate, Kennedy forceful but elusive" when it was pointed out that she said "you know" dozens of times in a two minute snippet of audio (available hear: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/28/nyregion/28kennedy.html) at places like Gawker, etc.

Sister publication The Boston Globe carried the original headline (http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/12/28/as_candidate_kennedy_eloquent_but_elusive/)

Is this a correction? A retraction? An error?

Good story.

Dec. 29 2008 05:54 PM
Chris Gray from New Haven

Ah, someone whose thoughts scat, as do mine, off your stories.

The 'nom de plume' Gatto reminds me of the Disney character "El Gato, the Man with Nine Lives", played by the wonderful Robert Loggia, who was cooler than even SNL's portrayal of our President-elect.

There was one of these pieces that really made me laugh out loud (not one that Gatto mentioned) but it escapes me at the moment, from lack of sleep.

Dec. 28 2008 05:00 PM

The idea of replacing "gay" with "homosexual" when referring to someone's name is pretty funny. The first thing I though of was the story about TV Guardian replacing "Dick Van Dyke" with "Jerk Van Gay". This was widely reported but is it actually true? The story could itself be a journalistic blunder.


I've also heard of a newspaper replacing the term "in the black", with respect to finance, with "in the African-American". Another one I couldn't verify with a little effort.

My favorite, though, would have to be the story about "Otzi the gay caveman".


This, of course, made me think of the line from the edited-for-television version of "The Big Lebowski", in which John Goodman repeatedly shouted "This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps!" Classic ADR.

Good story OTM.

Dec. 27 2008 06:06 AM

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