Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The New York Onion

The New York times, bastion of probity and propriety and guided by editorial gatekeepers both knowledgeable and true, stands dedicated to presenting the facts...even if they have to take a couple of stabs at it. As Gregg Easterbrook notes, so far this year the Times' own Corrections page has had to re-report that the nation's leading newspaper:
  • confused South Dakota with Abu Dhabi
  • said the Mississippi River runs through Cedar Rapids, Iowa (correct is the Cedar River, which you should be able to guess because ...)
  • said Snoop Dogg was the coach of the disgraced Binghamton University men's basketball team (confusing Kevin Broadus with Calvin Broadus)
  • at least twice identified a man as a woman (it's so hard to tell these days)
  • at least twice identified a woman as a man (and getting harder all the time)
  • confused New York State with New York City (that's a common mistake -- but in New York City?)
  • said 1,000 flights per hour cross the North Atlantic, where 100 is correct (off by only one zero would be considered astonishing financial acumen at Citibank)
  • referred to a nonexistent congressional Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Outer Space (in fairness, this sounds daffy enough to be an actual congressional subcommittee)
  • mistook a deputy assistant secretary for an assistant secretary (surely the paper received an angry complaint from the assistant secretary's acting associate deputy chief of staff)
  • of the anthrax letters case, said that in a DNA sequence, "the letter A represents adenine, according to the F.B.I."
  • confused principal with interest (reporter responsible, would you like to be CEO of Fannie Mae?)
  • confused dollars with euros (reporter responsible, would you like to be Minster of Finance for Greece?)
  • said a barrel of oil contains 42,000 gallons, where 42 is correct (off by only three zeroes would be considered astonishing engineering skill at BP)
  • could not tell the difference between a BP contractor and a federal regulator (isn't that how the whole mess started?)
  • understated the extent of past oil spills by 29,000 percent (columnist responsible, would you like to be CEO of BP?)
  • "misstated an ethnic joke" used by Ronald Reagan, which "centered on a monkey and an organ grinder, not Polish and Italian participants in a cockfight"
  • apologized to the National Enquirer for a "serious" factual error involving a jeans model sitting on a senator's lap (at the Enquirer, factual errors regarding mega-babes are mandatory)
  • bungled the age-old question, "Who's on first?"
  • left "billion" out of an article on a special-interest handout by Congress, reducing a $17 billion subsidy to $17 (reporter responsible, there is a job waiting for you on Nancy Pelosi's staff)
  • said a $2 Kentucky Derby bet on Super Saver paid $180, where $18 was correct (Goldman Sachs was behind this somehow)
  • left Alaska out of an estimate of the acreage of the United States (fortunately Sarah Palin does not read newspapers)
  • confused thousands with millions and millions with billions (reporters responsible, would you like to be in charge of long-term Social Security trust fund projections?)
  • ran the wrong winning lotto numbers (that must have caused some pleasant moments at redemption sites)
  • mistook "The Maple Leaf Forever," a regimental march, for the Canadian national anthem
  • said Yuma, Ariz., is 1,600 miles from the Mexican border (it's actually on the Mexican border)
  • confused Texas with Mexico (wasn't there some sort of war on exactly that point?)
  • erroneously reported the United Nations has an orchestra .

To the best of their knowledge, though, everything else they've printed has been correct. Allegedly.

1 comment: