Mr. Darcy Got His Girl: Editing TIME Magazine

February 22nd, 2010 10:40 PM

The top three things the editors of TIME magazine should have caught, but didn't, in the February 22 edition:

3) From "Colin Firth" by Richard Corliss and Mary Pols:

Ah, Mr. Darcy, the 'man without fault' who courted Jennifer Ehle's Elizabeth Bennet in the BBC's 1995 Pride and Prejudice. The role marked Firth as a gently seductive actor but one who often loses the leading lady to a name higher on the marquee.

Realizing the book came out too recently for the Cliff Notes version to be available and the authors may not have had time to see one of the several movie versions (has the 1940 version made it to video yet?), an editor should have been kind enough to pencil in that Mr. Darcy did indeed win the hand of the estimable Elizabeth Bennet.

2) From Verbatim:

'People said I should go kill myself.'

PHIL JONES, British scientist at the center of the Climategate scandal, saying he contemplated suicide after the leaked e-mails prompted threats from global-warming skeptics

Phil Jones did indeed make this claim -- see London Sunday Times, 2/7/10 -- but TIME added the bit about the communications coming from "global-warming skeptics."

Here's how the Times reported it:

He remains at risk, still receiving death threats from around the world including two in the past week: "I was shocked. People said I should go and kill myself. They said that they knew where I lived. They were coming from all over the world."

As a) the exposure of conduct for which Jones is being investigated has been a great boon to skepticism, as b) global warming-related policies have cost taxpayers and private citizens a great deal of money and the CRU e-mails hint it may have been for naught, as c) environmentalists have been known to issue death threats (take my word for it, or ask another skeptic), as d) the term "ecoterrorism" has been coined but "skeptiterrorism" or something similar has not, and as e) people have been known to issue death threats for psychological reasons, TIME is not justified in assuming, and publishing as fact, that the alleged threats came "from global-warming skeptics."

TIME also dropped a word from the quote, making it less than "verbatim."

1) From "The Moment" by Michael Grunwald, about New Orleans:

But the Lombardi Gras felt like a new beginning for a who-dat city of underdogs -- especially coming just days after its black and white residents came together to install new adult [emphasis added] leadership in the form of Mayor-elect Mitch Landrieu.

TIME says Mayor-elect Landrieu, born 1960 and white, is "adult," presumably in comparison to his predecessor, Ray Nagin, born 1956 and black.

Is TIME calling Nagin a "boy"?

Imagine if a conservative publication had published that.