Editor and Publisher notes that just days after the New York Times "sort of admitted it had erred in a blast at Fox News' Gerald Rivera during the Katrina tragedy," the paper has now finally ran a "full correction" for a "miscue by columnist Paul Krugman, while announcing a new policy on noting errors on that page."
Krugman had admitted on three occasions that a part of his August 19 column regarding media recounts of the 2000 presidential race were incorrect, "but critics kept claiming that he still hadn't gotten it quite right." On Sunday, the paper issued a fourth correction.
Editorial Page Editor Gail Collins called it a "correction run amok."
The third correction was run only on the paper's website, which is what Krugman wanted. Collins said he asked "if he could refrain from revisiting the subject yet again in print. I agreed, feeling we had reached the point of cruelty to readers."
But Collins had second thoughts, saying, "I was wrong. The correction should have run in the same newspaper where the original error and all its little offspring had appeared."
There is now a new policy on running corrections.
Collins also announced that the paper would henceforth be running regular corrections and "for the record" explanations under the Times' editorials. Today she published several in the "for the record" category. One notes that Krugman, Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich all incorrectly stated that former FEMA director Michael Brown went to college with his predecessor Joe Allbaugh. Another corrects where Mick Jagger made a certain statement about economics.
Here is the fourth correction of Krugman's column, which the Times hopes is the last:
"In describing the results of the ballot study by the group led by The Miami Herald in his column of Aug. 26, Paul Krugman relied on the Herald report, which listed only three hypothetical statewide recounts, two of which went to Al Gore. There was, however, a fourth recount, which would have gone to George W. Bush. In this case, the two stricter-standard recounts went to Mr. Bush. A later study, by a group that included The New York Times, used two methods to count ballots: relying on the judgment of a majority of those examining each ballot, or requiring unanimity. Mr. Gore lost one hypothetical recount on the unanimity basis."