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Speaking of corrections

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Howard Sprague, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. Howard Sprague

    Howard Sprague New Member

    The thread about the possibly-historic correction in the Las Vegas Sun got me wondering whether anyone can top my all-time favorite. This from the University of Texas student newspaper during the late 1980s:

    "Due to an editing error in a Page 1 story Thursday, The Daily Texan incorrectly reported that, in a speech at a rally for lesbian and gay rights Wednesday, Derek Roberts said twice that he enjoys penetrating his lover anally. In fact, Roberts said once that he enjoys being penetrated during anal sex, and his second statement was that he enjoys penetrating his lover."
  2. lono

    lono Active Member

    From The Miami Herald, 12/23/86

    "Last Sunday, The Herald erroneously reported that original Dolphin Johnny Holmes had been an insurance salesman in Raleigh, N.C., that he had won the New York lottery in 1982 and lost the money in a land swindle, that he had been charged with vehicular homicide and been acquitted because his mother said that she drove the car, and that he stated that the funniest thing he ever saw was Flipper spouting water on George Wilson. Each of these items was erroneous material published inadvertently. He was not an insurance salesman in Raleigh, did not win the lottery, neither he nor his mother was charged or involved in any way with a vehicular homicide, and he made no comment about Flipper or George Wilson. The Herald regrets the errors."
  3. Howard Sprague

    Howard Sprague New Member

    I'm humbled by your greatness
  4. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    This is one of Jayson Blair's famous corrections at the Times, after which nothing happened and he continued to rise up the food chain.

    An article in some copies on Sunday about a benefit at Madison Square Garden for victims of the Sept. 11 terror attack misstated the price of the most expensive tickets. They were $10,000, not $1,000.
    The article also quoted incorrectly from a remark by former President Bill Clinton to the audience, many of them police officers and firefighters. Mr. Clinton said he had been given the bracelet of Raymond Downey, the deputy fire chief who died in the attack -- not Chief Downey's hat.
    Referring to the terrorists, he said, "I hope they saw this tonight, because they thought America was about money and power. They thought that if they took down the World Trade Center, we would collapse. But we're not about mountains of money or towers of steel. You're about mountains of courage and hearts of gold, and I hope they saw you here tonight." He did not say "hearts of steel."
    An article in some late editions on Sunday about the benefit concert at Madison Square Garden for victims of the Sept. 11 attack referred incorrectly to scenes in a short film made for the event by Woody Allen, "Scenes From a Town I Love," which showed New Yorkers talking on cellphones. An actor in one scene complained that his anthrax drugs had been stolen by muggers; he did not say the police took them. Another man talked about opening Starbucks coffee shops in Afghanistan after the war; he did not say one had already opened there.

    The article also included two performers erroneously among the participants. Bono and the Edge, of the band U2, were scheduled to appear but canceled before the concert.
  5. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    That's a short story by itself... fiction, right?
  6. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    I never thought I'd argue this about anything that runs incorrectly, but...

    Once I got done laughing out loud after reading it, I honestly wasn't sure I'd have run a correction on that one, Howard.

    I mean, really, does correcting it, in that case, matter that much that we really need to run it again, and draw more attention to it? Egad...I think this is one case where I might say, "You know what? Let's just let it go, move on, and let everyone else do the same."

    As for my reaction to this one: I'd say, "Corrections all around." Yikes...what happened?!
  7. Howard Sprague

    Howard Sprague New Member

    I can only surmise that Derek raised issue with the story because he wanted it known publicly that he was a catcher as well as a pitcher.
  8. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    The legendary story of how this happened, at least how I was told. Corrections welcome: They were doing a retrospective on the original Dolphins team (20 years back to the first one) and they did a big graphic about where everybody was in 1986. For the person/people they wanted to track everybody down, they gave them an example of what they were looking for. And they filled in all that fake stuff for Johnny Holmes.

    And, of course, Johnny Holmes was somebody they didn't really find. So the fake information was never overwritten, and it ran in the paper that way.

    Then, of course, they heard from Johnny Holmes.
  9. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Just one more example of people needing to make damn sure they return that reporter's call. :D
  10. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    Thanks, SF_Express, for that explanation. I'd been wondering.

    Yet another example of the need to be careful with dummy copy, and just use something like, say, Xxxx xxxx, etc...It's less likely to get overlooked or read through, and even if it did, I'd rather see that in the paper than the type of misinformation that got attached to Johnny Holmes.
  11. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Yeah, you're right, obviously, and I'm sure the people there at the time wish they had done it that way. They were providing a guide to the kinds of things they were looking for to the people tracking the players down, and obviously, what could go wrong did go wrong -- even with, I'm sure, a lot of sets of eyes on that copy as it made its way into the newspaper.
  12. awriter

    awriter Active Member

    True. But then again, I would have missed out on a good laugh today.
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