Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Public Flailing

On Friday, July 17, The New York Times published an article about Walter Cronkite by their TV Correspindant, Alessandra Stanley.

The next day, they ran the following correction:

"An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to a news organization for which Walter Cronkite worked. At the time, it was called United Press, not United Press International. The earlier version also misstated the date of the first moon landing; it was July 20, 1969, not July 26. And it misspelled Telstar."

A little smackdown for a reporter who was a little bit careless.

Then, on the following Wednesday, they ran second correction. This was quite a bit more than a smackdown, more like a public shaming:

"An appraisal on Saturday about Walter Cronkite's career included a number of errors. In some copies, it misstated the date that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed and referred incorrectly to Mr. Cronkite's coverage of
D-Day. Dr. King was killed on April 4, 1968, not April 30. Mr. Cronkite covered
the D-Day landing from a warplane; he did not storm the beaches. In addition,
Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969, not July 26. "The CBS
Evening News" overtook "The Huntley-Brinkley Report" on NBC in the ratings
during the 1967-68 television season, not after Chet Huntley retired in 1970. A
communications satellite used to relay correspondents' reports from around the
world was Telstar, not Telestar. Howard K. Smith was not one of the CBS
correspondents Mr. Cronkite would turn to for reports from the field after he
became anchor of "The CBS Evening News" in 1962; he left CBS before Mr. Cronkite
was the anchor. Because of an editing error, the appraisal also misstated the
name of the news agency for which Mr. Cronkite was Moscow bureau chief after
World War II. At that time it was United Press, not United Press International."

Yow! In public! Ouch. I mean, Alessandra Stanley clearly goofed this one. That's the kind of mistake-riddled content you might expect from a blog, not The Gray Lady. (smirking...)

But still, that almost feels like piling on.

Until, that is, you Google Alessandra Stanley and discover that she's a regular guest on the New York Times Corrections page. In fact. she's notorious for it.

John Cook of the blog Reference Tone collected all of the published corrections of Stanley ’s work from 2001 – 2005 and the list is LONG.

Seriously, go look at the list. I would have reproduced it here but it's just too damn long. It's kind of incredible really.

My boss would be crawling up my ass if I were that careless!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Today's NY Times OpEd has an article on this story from the Public Editor: