A Half Correction From the Los Angeles Times

December 25th, 2005 9:22 PM

Check out this correction from today's (Sunday December 25, 2005) Los Angeles Times (emphasis mine):

Religion and government: A Dec. 18 article defending the separation of church and state stated that the Rev. Jerry Falwell claimed that Ellen DeGeneres played a role in the 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina because she was the host of the Emmy Awards before both events. He made no such claim.

The correction does not identify the original article or its author, but the December 18 piece was called "The wall that unites us," and it was written by Stephen Julius Stein. So far, the correction has not been amended to the on-line version.

The question: How on earth did such an outrageous statement get past the editors at the Times? Is anyone proofreading their submissions?

[Could it be ...? An on-line "urban legend" says that televangelist Pat Robertson made a claim along these lines, but snopes.com, an urban legend reference site, has debunked it. The original source is an article of satire that some people took to be real.]

Let's hope the Los Angeles Times makes a New Year's resolution for better journalism!