Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Blogrollin': Pickups, DeLay, asinine newspaper corrections that shouldn't be published

1. Before undertaking any automotive repairs on your own, you should seriously consider reading this take by Mouth of the Brazos.

2. Slampo sees through the smoke and behind the mirrors of the latest Tom DeLay polling hoo-ha.

3. The corrections printed by newspapers always cause more confusion than the original error, principally because they are not alloted adequate space to fully explain why and how the screwup occurred. These days, I never read the corrections that are published, and I am a less fulfilled human being for it because they do have definite entertainment value (if you have a lot of time on your hands.) Based on personal experience, when a correction says "due to an editing error," it means the assistant city editor rewrote some reporter's shitty copy but managed to rewrite an error into the copy. Sometimes copy editors do that, but usually it's an assistant city editor (or the city editor his- or herself.) Anyway, Kevin Whited at blogHouston examines the latest attempt at a correction in the Houston daily. I just hope he doesn't burn too many brain cells trying to understand what it all means because I'm pretty sure it's a long involved story that neither the newspaper's reader rep or anyone else employed at 801 Texas will ever divulge. BUT, if I had to guess, I'd say it has something to do with the source of the story calling up, raising hell that, "I DIDN'T SAY THAT" or "I TOLD YOU NOT TO USE THAT LAST SENTENCE" or "THAT MAKES ME SOUND REALLY BAD" ... and what are you gonna do about it or do I have to go over your head? If that's the case, the reporter and/or editor should have said, "Go ahead I'm not running a correction for something that doesn't need correcting. That'd be stupid. Now leave me alone, I'm busy." But we live in politically correct times now. Anything to soothe the public. So they run dumbass corrections that don't mean anything to anyone except the person who called up the paper to demand one.

IMPORTANT RULE #1 FOR ANYONE WHO EVER TALKS TO A REPORTER: It's all on the record until the reporter agrees that it's off the record. Theoretically, there are no do-overs.

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