Dewey Defeats Edwards… Yet Another News Screwup

from the itchy-trigger-fingers dept

The rush to publish first is making for an awful lot of Dewey Defeats Truman style stories showing up this year. Earlier this year, USA Today published a story on their site with the wrong candidate winning the reality TV show The Apprentice. Last month, a Tampa paper incorrectly reported that their own hometown hockey team had lost the Stanley Cup, when, in fact, they had won. The latest is that the NY Post is running into some trouble for reporting that John Kerry picked Dick Gephardt to be his running mate, when the reality is that he picked John Edwards. What’s interesting, though, is that the NY Post has simply deleted the incorrect story from their website, without a notice, explanation or apology. This certainly raises questions about how the press handles mistakes online. It’s a running joke in the news media how they publish huge mistakes on page one, and retract them two weeks later in tiny print hidden in the “corrections” section somewhere in the middle of the paper. However, in an age of instant publication (where people can link to you right away), it seems like a more reasonable thing to do is to admit that you were wrong and post an explanation at that location, rather than simply “disappearing” the story and pretending it never happened.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Dewey Defeats Edwards… Yet Another News Screwup”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
dorpus says:

What about movies?

When/if digital movies make it to mainstream movie theaters, will they have patches to fix errors in movies? As slashdot mentioned, spiderman 2 had many errors in it. The movie claimed that there is only 21 grams of tritium in the entire world, so therefore it is a difficult material to obtain. As a matter of fact, tritium is available all around us — movie theater exit signs, the ones with the green glowing letters, are powered by radioactive tritium in a phosphor tube. The plot could have been more provocative and interesting, if Dr. Octo went around stealing all the exit signs from every movie theater in the neighborhood, to make his nuclear weapon.

Anonymous Coward says:

Publicity Stunt?

I think it was a no-lose situation. If they were right, they got the scoop. If the lost, well, look how much news coverage are they getting for their incorrect headline. How much is this front page going to be worth a few years from now (no matter who wins the election)? It isn’t like they have roomfulls of Pulitzers, so there really wasn’t any damage for THEIR reputation.

As for the reputation of the news media as a whole, I think it is already in the sewer.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...