Byron Calame, public editor of the New York Times, is having a difficult time getting columnist Paul Krugman or his editor to correct a mistake Krugman made in an Aug. 19 column.
In that column, which discussed the disputed 2000 presidential election, Krugman asserted that candidate Al Gore won two after-the-fact recounts conducted by news organizations. This, however, was not true as Calame pointed out in a Sept. 2 posting on the Times web site.
After spotting the error, Calame pressed Krugman for a correction. The columnist relented and printed a note at the bottom of a his Aug. 26 column. But the correction was also mistaken, causing Calame to continue to press both Krugman and his editor, Gail Collins, for a more accurate recorrection. So far, he's been rebuffed as the ombud relayed in a Sept. 16 posting:
Two weeks have passed since my previous post spelled out the errors made by columnist Paul Krugman in writing about news media recounts of the 2000 Florida vote for president. Mr. Krugman still hasn't been required to comply with the policy by publishing a formal correction. Ms. Collins hasn't offered any explanation.
As a result, readers of nytimes.com who simply search for "Krugman" won't find any indication that there are uncorrected errors in the columns the query turns up. Nor will those who access Mr. Krugman's columns in an electronic database such as Nexis or Factiva. Corrections would have been appended in all those places if Mr. Krugman had complied with Ms. Collins' policy and corrected the errors in his column in the print version of The Times. (Essentially, to become part of the official archive of The Times, material has to have been published in the print paper.)
All Mr. Krugman has offered so far is a faux correction. Each Op-Ed columnist has a page in nytimes.com that includes his or her past columns and biographical information. Mr. Krugman has been allowed to post a note on his page that acknowledges his initial error, but doesn't explain that his initial correction of that error was also wrong. Since it hasn't been officially published, that posting doesn't cause the correction to be appended to any of the relevant columns.