Just days after it ran an editors’ note–under pressure from outside and within–that sort of admitted it had erred in a blast at Fox News’ Gerald Rivera during the Katrina tragedy, The New York Times finally ran a full correction on Sunday, on its editorial page, for a miscue by columnist Paul Krugman, while announcing a new policy on noting errors on that page.
Krugman had three times previously admitted getting wrong part of his Aug. 19 column about media recounts of the 2000 Bush-Gore race, but critics kept claiming that he still hadn’t gotten it quite right. Editorial Page Editor Gail Collins wrote on Sunday that it had turned into a "correction run amok."
After publishing his third correction on the Web, Krugman asked Collins, she wrote, "if he could refrain from revisiting the subject yet again in print. I agreed, feeling we had reached the point of cruelty to readers. But I was wrong. The correction should have run in the same newspaper where the original error and all its little offspring had appeared."
Collins also announced that the paper would henceforth be running regular corrections and "for the record" explanations under the Times’ editorials. Today she published several in the "for the record" category. One notes that Krugman, Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich all incorrectly stated that former FEMA director Michael Brown went to college with his predecessor Joe Allbaugh. Another corrects where Mick Jagger made a certain statement about economics.
It’s no longer arguable that the Newspaper of Record could easily be called the Newspaper of Corrections. A great site that documents the corrections of newpapers all over the world is Regret The Error – which has noted some problems with the NYTimes inability to get the story right the first time around on more than one occasion (see this post for an example, which I blogged about here).
Another site you should bookmark is Times Watch, which is devoted to exposing the liberal media bias at the NYTimes.