August 31, 2004
ERROR-CORRECTION UPDATE: Well, maybe. A while back I ran this post, noting that the Los Angeles Times hadn’t corrected a false statement to the effect that none of the people in the Swiftboat Vets ads had served on Kerry’s boat. (The LAT has since corrected the error.) I also noted that The New Republic had made the same mistake.
Reader Jonathan Miller, however, says that TNR was only referring to the first of the Swiftboat ads. That’s not entirely clear from the language, but to the extent it’s true, then the TNR statement was (I think) literally correct — though of course, it loses a lot of force once you realize that the statement wasn’t true of the ad campaign as a whole, and that in fact an ad featuring Steve Gardner, who served with Kerry longer than anyone else, appeared the same day the TNR piece was published.
Nonetheless, since we here in the blogosphere strive to outperform the mainstream media on stuff like this, I’ll note the point, and I should have been more clear about the difference between the Los Angeles Times’ point (which was about the group) and the TNR point, which was about the ads. Given that, as best I can tell, TNR never corrected its egregious Suriname error, this seems on the generous side. But why not be generous? It’s only pixels, and nobody thinks less of you for correcting an error, or even a statement that might have created a misapprehension.
UPDATE: Jason Zengerle emails that TNR has, in fact, corrected the Suriname error, with a correction appended at the end. But the free subscription that they sent me doesn’t work any more, and so I can’t see it. I did check the article for several days after I posted on it originally, though, and saw no correciton then.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Ah, here’s the correction:
Correction: This article originally stated that Islam was the majority faith in Suriname. In fact, Suriname is only about 20 percent Muslim, and has populations of Roman Catholics, Hindus, and protestants of roughly this same size. We regret the error.
I don’t know when it went up, but it’s nicely done.