Saturday, January 2, 2016

"The best (or worst) news media corrections of 2015"

Note: These aren't just from 2015. It is a ten year retrospective.

Thanks to a reader.

From the Pasadena Star-News, December 26, 2015:
It is the custom of this column to mark the end of each year with a compilation of the best, or worse, or most convoluted, or contrived, or outrageous, or downright silly media corrections.

We used to focus exclusively on newspapers but since the printed word is becoming as rare as the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat (which, to the uninitiated, is extremely rare), we have broadened our approach. We now welcome TV and the Internet to this walk of shame.
Steve Harvey and Brian Williams, come on down.

Why commemorate mistakes? After all, journalism is a profession that prides itself on accuracy. But sometimes in the production of countless words spread across countless pages, mistakes are made. And some are funny.
So once a year we pause long enough to laugh at ourselves. It seems a little humor is good medicine when you spend your days covering a world that seems to have gone mad.

Since this year is the 10th year we have complied this list, it seems entirely fitting that we look back on the very best of the miscues that made news.

Without further ado, we present the Mea Culpa Awards.
“Norma Adams-Wade’s June 15 column incorrectly called Mary Ann Thompson Frenk a socialist. She is a socialite.” --- The Dallas Morning News.

“Following the portrait of Tony and Cherie Blair published on 21 April in the Independent Saturday magazine, Ms. Blair’s representatives have told us that she was friendly with but never had a relationship with Carole Caplin of the type suggested in the article. They want to make it clear, which we are happy to do, that Ms. Blair has never shared a shower with Ms. Caplin, was not introduced to spirit guides or primal wrestling by Ms. Caplin (or anyone else), and did not have her diary masterminded by Ms. Caplin. “ ---The Independent Saturday (UK) magazine.

“In articles published on 23 and 26 May 2008, we gave the impression that Mr. (David) Gest had contracted a sexually transmitted infection and alleged that he had Liza Minnelli’s dog killed without her knowledge. This was wrong. David Gest has never had a sexually transmitted infection and did not have Ms. Minnelli’s dog killed.” --- Daily Mail, UK.

“We said that, in the American TV drama ‘24,’ Jack Bauer, the counter-terrorism agent, resorted to electrocution to extract information. You cannot extract information from someone who has been electrocuted because they are dead.” --- The Guardian, UK.

“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.

“Last week’s column mistakenly misidentified a source. The European Commission president is Romano Prodi, not Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”--- The Prague Post.

“Our panel listing the expected highlights at Glastonbury this summer catapulted into the festival’s headliners a band not so much obscure as unknown, even to those expert in Judaic contributions to rock. The group Frightened Rabbi should have been the Scottish band Frightened Rabbit.” --- The Guardian.

“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.

“Just to keep the record straight, it was the famous Whistler’s Mother, not Hitler’s, that was exhibited at the recent meeting of the Pleasantville Methodists. There is nothing to be gained in trying to explain how the error occurred.” ---Titusville (Pa.) Herald.