Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Year In Review - Sort Of

It's that time when all sorts of "Year in Review" articles and lists are published. I'm not going to post them here, because (1) they're just about everywhere you look, and (2) I'm lazy. But I will post one, because I found it especially amusing.

I've given up expecting any semblance of 'fair and balanced' reporting in today's media. But one would hope they could at the bare minimum get their facts right. And if they don't, they should publish a correction in a manner (prominence and location) similar to the original story. Everyone makes mistakes - God knows I make more than my share. But when I do, and when I find out about it, I try to make it right. Media outlets, however, are notorious for burying their 'corrections' in small print on an inside page, or somewhere else equally inconspicuous. As the following shows, maybe that's because the original mistake is so ridiculous they don't want to draw further attention to it.

So without further ado, here's my Top 10 list of all-time absurd media corrections.

What a difference an "n" makes.
“Reporter Amanda Hess, in a story published Monday, acknowledges she wrongly wrote that ‘one in three black men who have sex with me is HIV positive.’ In fact, the statistic applies to black men ‘who have sex with men.’” --- Washington Citypaper.
That's his second job.
“In the September profile of Chelsea Clinton, ‘Waiting in the Wings’ by Jonathan Van Meter, Dan Baer was mistakenly identified as an interior designer. He is deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the U.S. Department of State.” --- Vogue magazine.
I'd love to hear the story behind this story.
“A column by Glenn Garvin on Dec. 20 stated that the National Science Foundation ‘funded a study on Jell-O wrestling at the South Pole.’ That is incorrect. The event took place during off-duty hours without NSF permission and did not involve taxpayer funds.” --- Miami Herald.
What's 450 years among friends.
“Correction: An earlier version of this article misidentified the number of years E.B. White wrote for The New Yorker. It was five decades, not centuries.” ---The New York Times.
Are you sure the first one is wrong?
“A Bloody Mary recipe…called for 12 ounces of vodka and 36 ounces of tomato juice. The recipe as printed incorrectly reversed the amounts, calling for 36 ounces of vodka and 12 ounces of tomato juice.” --- Wall Street Journal.
That's three beers more than it takes me.
“This post originally quoted photographer Tom Sanders as saying it takes him five years to get on the dance floor. It takes him five beers.” Slate magazine.
Must have been divine intervention.
“Karol Wojtyla was referred to in Saturday’s Credo column as “the first non-Catholic pope for 450 years”. This should, of course, have read “non-Italian pope.” ---London Times.
He'd have more credibility as an author of erotic novels.
“An article on Monday about a recall election facing Colorado lawmakers who supported gun-control legislation referred incorrectly to one of the Republican challengers expected to face John Morse, the State Senate president, on the ballot. The candidate, Bernie Herpin, is a former city councilman, not an author of erotic novels.” --- New York Times.
This error could be applied to the entire set of politicians.
“An Oct. 1 editorial referred to Washington state Rep. Cathy McMorris, R-Colville as a ‘classy candidate.’ This page regrets the error.” --- Lewiston Morning Tribune.
The next one is actually #11, but it's in a class of its own, so I felt is was appropriate to include it with a Top 10 list. If there is much of an outcry I'll publish a correction ... at some point ... in some format...
“The Ottawa Citizen and Southam News wish to apologize for our apology to Mark Steyn, published Oct. 22. In correcting the incorrect statements about Mr. Steyn published Oct. 15, we incorrectly published the incorrect correction. We accept and regret that our original regrets were unacceptable.” --- Ottawa Citizen and Southam News.
I couldn't have said it better myself.

To wrap things up, here's a classic typo in a photograph caption.

That must have been really painful.


Bear said...

Having spent time in a newsroom over the course of my career, I can say that it's relatively amusing when these are found while the press is still running. All sorts of spirited cussing and scrambling usually ensues.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

What are you going to do? We submitted a carefully written obituary after my father's death. Paid to have it published. The newspaper redid it and made significant errors Then they botched their corrections.

Old NFO said...

ROTF, sometimes you just gotta wonder what they were drinking...

CenTexTim said...

Bear - I's love to see that. But I have to wonder how something like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" makes it into print.

WSF - I hope you got a refund - or at least a discount.

NFO - I don't know, but I wouldn't mind having a swig...