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The Bishop of Norwich and other corrections 2008

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Craig Silverman, whose website – RegrettheError – reports on corrections, retractions and clarifications from news outlets around the world, has published his excellent ‘Year in Media Errors and Corrections 2008‘.


It’s well worth reading them in full, but here’s a selection of British ones:

From the Daily Star:


Our article last Tuesday headed “It’s Sven Giggle Eriksson” pictured Mr Eriksson in a hotel restaurant with a young lady. We wrongly assumed that the lady was an admirer and suggested that he was fondling her. In fact the lady was Lina, Mr Eriksson’s daughter, with whom he was having a normal fatherly embrace. We apologise to Mr Eriksson and his daughter for the embarrassment and distress caused by the publication of the photographs and incorrect assumptions made about them.

 

From The Sun:


An article on March 29, “Everyone off my bus, I need to pray”, stated that Arunas Raulynaitis, a London bus driver and a Muslim, asked passengers to leave his bus so he could pray and that passengers later refused to re-board the bus because they saw a ruck-sack which made them think he might be a fanatic. The article included pictures of Mr Raulynaitis praying. We now accept that these allegations were completely untrue. Mr Raulynaitis is not a fanatic and he did not ask passengers to leave his bus to allow him to pray. In fact, he was praying during his statutory rest break. We apologise to Mr Raulynaitis for the embarrassment and distress caused.

From The Times:

We may owe an apology to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Last month we dubbed it “Whitehall’s answer to Sir Elton John” after it emerged that it had spent £ 46,000 on pot plants in two years. Now we learn that staff at the Department for Children, Schools and Families spent £ 78,000 on pot plants in a single year. The crown, thus, is theirs.

From the Guardian:

Gore Vidal was once head-butted by Norman Mailer, not the other way round. Vidal described the altercation as “marshmallow to marshmallow” when asked about it at the Hay festival 2008 (Diary, page 9, G2, May 27).

From the Daily Mail:

In articles published on 23 and 26 May 2008, we gave the impression that Mr Gest had contracted a sexually transmitted infection and alleged that he had Liza Minnelli’s dog killed without her knowledge. This was wrong. David Gest has never had a sexually transmitted infection and did not have Ms Minnelli’s dog killed. We apologise to Mr Gest for any embarrassment caused.

From Press Gazette:

The Eastern Daily Press has apologised after confusing the Bishop of Norwich with serial killer Steve Wright, known as the “Suffolk strangler”. The paper printed a letter from Rupert Read of the Eastern Region Green Party calling for brothels to be closed following the Ipswich murders saying: “Surely that is the best memorial to the women who died at the hands of Steve Wright (pictured).” But the EDP printed a picture of the Bishop of Norwich, the Right Rev Graham James, with his dog collar clearly visible, instead of Wright. The paper has printed an apology and has agreed to make a donation to a Christian group that helps prostitutes of which the Bishop is a patron.

All credit to Regret the Error

Written by Martin Moore

December 19th, 2008 at 4:44 pm

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A collection of corrections

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For those of you unfamiliar with Craig Silverman’s excellent site – Regret the Error - I can highly recommend his end of year round up of the best, or rather worst, errors of 2007. Though he himself is based on the west coast of the US, Silverman includes errors from a number from British news outlets – indeed the UK press win some of the most prestigious awards.

The Independent magazine (Saturday) wins the exalted ‘Correction of the Year’ for this howler:

“Following the portrait of Tony and Cherie Blair published on 21 April in the Independent Saturday magazine, Ms Blair’s representatives have told us that she was friendly with but never had a relationship with Carole Caplin of the type suggested in the article. They want to make it clear, which we are happy to do, that Ms Blair “has never shared a shower with Ms Caplin, was not introduced to spirit guides or primal wrestling by Ms Caplin (or anyone else), and did not have her diary masterminded by Ms Caplin.”

The Sunday Times walks away with apology of the year for this unfortunate mistake:

“An article about Lord Lambton (“Lord Louche, sex king of Chiantishire”, News Review, January 7) falsely stated that his son Ned (now Lord Durham) and daughter Catherine held a party at Lord Lambton’s villa, Cetinale, in 1997, which degenerated into such an orgy that Lord Lambton banned them from Cetinale for years. In fact, Lord Durham does not have a sister called Catherine (that is the name of his former wife), there has not been any orgiastic party of any kind and Lord Lambton did not ban him (or Catherine) from Cetinale at all. We apologise sincerely to Lord Durham for the hurt and embarrassment caused.”

It’s a shame the Daily Mail’s apology to John Snow didn’t make the grade: “On May 20 and May 27, 2007, The Mail on Sunday published stories claiming that TV news presenter Jon Snow had an affair with a writer called Precious Williams, and that they smoked cannabis together. There is no truth in these allegations. We accept that in fact Mr Snow never had any relationship with Miss Williams, and that the allegation of drug-taking was unfounded. We are happy to set the record straight, and we apologise for the embarrassment caused.”

Also missing was the Sunday Times’ late breaking shocker of an apology to nurse Patricia Fisk referred to in my previous blog.

But Silverman captures many other corrections that I certainly missed, including:

Best Recipe Error from The Observer: “We should clarify that the stir-fried morning glory recipe featured in Observer Food Monthly last week uses an edible morning glory Ipomoea aquatica, found in south east Asia and also known as water spinach. This should not to be confused with the UK Ipomoea, also known as morning glory, which is poisonous.”

Misspelling in The Guardian: “We misspelled the word misspelled twice, as mispelled, in the Corrections and clarifications column on September 26, page 30.”

A bizarre correction – of sorts – from The New Scientist: “Several readers complain that the dancing cow illustrating Feedback, 20 January, appears to have six teats. It was of course drawn as seen by an intoxicated fellow dancer.”

And an unusual slip up in the International Herald Tribune: “An article in some copies Monday erroneously included President Vladimir Putin among major Russian figures who died recently.”

Someone was presumably having some fun at Reuters when s/he called the Muttahida Quami Movement the “Muttonhead Quail Movement.”

While someone else should be careful before they criticise Anna Nicole Smith’s literary abilities (caption to photo in Houston Chronicle): “When Redding, a longtime scout for Playboy, discovered Smith, the model could barely right a sentence…”

For many more go to Craig Silverman’s Regret the Error.

Written by Martin Moore

January 3rd, 2008 at 4:53 pm

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