Man Without Qualities

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Is That A Real Correction?

The New York Times reports:

Democrats are furious about a statement by Republicans saying that comparing one of their candidates to presidential candidate John Kerry would be worse than comparing someone to the Ku Klux Klan. The dispute started when The New York Times inadvertently published a photo of Republican Senate candidate Pete Coors above a story about a KKK member who murdered a black sharecropper. The Times published a correction Saturday. Cinamon Watson, spokeswoman for Coors, said the error was "so outrageous it's kind of funny. It could have been worse. Pete could have been identified as John Kerry.''

The phony Democrat "outrage" will only suggest they have no sense of humor. But what about that "correction" in the Times? The Times did run a item with a number of corrections to past articles in today's (Saturday's) edition including this one:

A picture with an entry in the National Briefing column on Thursday about an appeals court ruling upholding the murder conviction of Ernest Avants in the 1966 killing of a sharecropper, Ben Chester White, was published in error. It showed Peter H. Coors, who is seeking the Republican nomination for Senate in Colorado, not Mr. Avants.

But surely this is not sufficient. The Times owes its readers an explanation as to how such a substitution was made. Was it made innocently? How could that have happened? Who was the responsible editor?

The matter is particularly curious because, as Snopes puts it:

The Adolph Coors Company has been the subject of numerous vilification rumors. Most prevalent are the ones that link Coors to either Nazism or the Ku Klux Klan. ... The second prevalent vilification rumor ties Coors to the Ku Klux Klan, probably as both an outgrowth of the "right wing equals bad guy" way of thinking and as an expression of concerns over how the company has handled race relations issues in the past. .... But racial tensions don't equal white-sheeted Klansmen lurking behind every bush, which is the crux of the rumor. .... Coors isn't a company the Klan would want to associate with.

Yes, it could be that the Times happened to make a substitution of photographs that happens to track one of the nastier left-wing tinfoil-hat obsessions. But it is strange enough of a "coincidence" for the Times to investigate fully and explain to its readers how this happened and who was responsible. Until such an investigation has been made and such an explanation has been tendered, the Times has not really corrected its error.

But there has been no sign of any effort by the Times to do any of that.

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