Regret the Error, a blog
corrections has released its annual
list of funniest mistakes, apologies, frauds, hoaxes, and
embarrassments perpetrated by and on the self-styled arbiters of the truth.
Some of my favorites:
- Reuters, the news agency that brought you the fraudulent
Adnan Hajj, also makes real mistakes. In an Oct. 25 story about bees,
it mistakenly said that Queen Elizabeth has "10 times the life
expectancy of workers and lays 2,000 eggs a day."
- In the dubious sources category: "Don Spille -- A man who
told the Tallahassee Democrat that he lost
everything in Katrina – including his father. Ed Spille Sr.,
father, later contacted the newspaper to disagree. 'I might be dead to
him,' he said. 'At 80 years old, I’m dead to a lot of
student newspaper at Purdue University had a real scoop about Supreme
Court justice Samuel Alito during his nomination process: "His motive
for shooting John Paul in the abdomen on May 13, 1981, remains
unclear," the paper asserted in a caption of Alito being sworn in at a hearing.
- The New York Times misspelled the name
of a now-defunct department store, Gimbels, 120 times since 1980,
turning the store's name into a possessive noun. Only in November of
this year did the paper finally correct the errors.
- The Boca
Raton (Fla.) News, mistakenly reported that Vince McMahon, president of
the fake wrestling league WWE, was getting divorced from his wife after
the theme was used in an episode. It refused to correct its mistake.
- Lost in translation at the Financial Times: "An
item in the
Observer column on March 14 reported that Ludwik Dorn,
minister of the interior, had said some former police officers used the
services of prostitutes. A more correct translation was that they had a
'wide social life.'"
- The Cleveland Plain Dealer, in the ever helpful tradition
of "service journalism" mistakenly told readers that five local post
offices were remaining open until midnight on Tax Day, April 15th. The
error caused about 400 people to miss the deadline. Fortunately for
them, the Postal Service agreed to process their taxes as if they had
filed in time.
in court can be dangerous to your reputation, apparently. At least it
was in the case of a St. Louis psychologist, Richard Scott, who was
referred to as the kidnapping and rape defendant who was the subject of
- Also noted are TV gaffes from the BBC inadvertently
interviewing a taxi driver about a music industry lawsuit (see this NB
post for details and video), and CNN anchor Kyra Phillips's famous bathroom break.