Departments of Correction: An Overview


Regarding ROMENESKO’s post dated January 27th, 2012 about the delay of the Yale Daily News in reporting a sexual assault charge levelled at former Rhodes Scholar candidate and Bulldogs quarterback Patrick Witt: the Ombudsman for the Daily News takes issue with the ROMENESKO headline, “YALE DAILY NEWS EDITORS SAT ON EXPLOSIVE PATRICK WITT STORY FOR A MONTH.”  He insists the editors actually sat – “More of a squat, really” –  on philosophy major Zachary Greenblatt while reading aloud from God and Man at Yale and that “it wasn’t even for a month, it was only, like, three weeks. And he TOTALLY liked it.” ROMENESKO regrets the characterization.



Due to a typesetting error, a portion of a letter to the Public Editor dated January 28th appeared as “The ghost of Edward Murrow is yelling at the media from the grave — begging you all to start fact-checking and reporting lies.” It should have read, “The ghost of Edward Murrow is yelling at Charlie Rose from the grave – begging him to ‘get off my TV in the morning, already – my bagel’s coming back up on me.’”  The Times regrets the error, while noting the correspondent’s further assertions that the spectral Murrow also frequently yells at Steve Kroft to “make a beer run and remember my Pall Malls this time” and at Bob Schieffer to “go get my f___king shinebox” could not be independently verified.



Deciphering the recently posted correspondence of William S. Burroughs posed a special challenge to historians, owing primarily to the physical decay of the documents (and their author) as well as the unreliable and fundamentally unsound typewriter which was Burroughs’s preferred tool of composition. Lytton Fleming of Tangier, a noted Burroughsphile and social worker to at-risk Moroccan youth, informs us that the letter to Burroughs’s  parents dated 17 November, 1959 was an early experiment in the use of the cut-up method and was incorrectly reassembled by the Burroughs estate. Further inquiry reveals this to be the case. The first sentence of the quoted letter printed as “I am sorry.. Can only say time accelerated and skidded—No time to eat as you see in the photo—“ should actually read, “eye MM sorey.. kan ONLEy sae that sumBITCH neel cassdy accelerated n skidded a buick into MYVEGTABLE PATCH.. no way to eat as you can see in the photo – whers mi godDaM shotgun..”

The Paris Review regrets the error, and adds its wholehearted endorsement of Mr. Burroughs’s assertion that “(t)he English language—the only really adjustable language—is in state of transition and the old grammar forms no longer useful”, ZOMFG lol TOTES.



BREAKING: 10:34 am – The AP reports that college football coaching legend Joe Paterno has died.

UPDATE 10:47 am – “Our” story on the passing of former Penn State coach Joe Paterno was incorrect and based on faulty sourcing.

To recap: the Associated Press announced breaking news of Paterno’s death at 10:34; their bulletin was based on a story posted at 10:32 by a stringer for CBS Sports whose source was a Tweet (10:26) by someone labelled as “close to the Paterno family.” The source was found out to not be at all “close”, but rather an alumnus living in Nome, Alaska who, at 10:19, was in a chat room with Penn State sophomore Maggie Doane, who at 10:06 had gotten a text from a sorority mate holding vigil at Paterno’s statue that the ailing coach was “HELLA dead.”

The Huffington Post regrets the errors of AP and CBS Sports and is preparing a slideshow on the Ten Most Tragic Examples of drinking on college campuses. HuffPo has also suspended the intern who posted the offending AP article and has asked for the return of the AOL “You’ve Got Mail!” coffee mug and vintage AOL coasters she received in lieu of cash remuneration.

UPDATE 11:15: Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington’s official response to the Paterno story can be found here.

UPDATE 12:01: The Associated Press reports that college football coaching legend Joe Paterno has died.



Daniel Engber. Slate regrets the error.


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