Join 3,552 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


The correct quote is “Hell is other people,” not “Hell is other people at breakfast.”
December 18, 2012 8:42 AM   Subscribe

The best (and worst) media errors and corrections of 2012.
posted by Chrysostom (38 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Some of these are clearly not mistakes. They're more like lies.

Due to a production error, a quote attributed to Lieutenant Colonel Ghulam Jehlani Shafiq in a report in The Weekend Australian on Saturday (“Afghanistan battles scourge of corruption”, page 16) was altered to change its meaning. Colonel Jehlani did not say: “It’s not like 25 years ago. I was killing everybody.” In fact, he said: “It’s not like 25 years ago I was killing everybody. At that time too we tried not to have civilian casualties.” The Australian apologises for the error.

How is that a production error?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:02 AM on December 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


A friend posted this to Facebook last week (nyah, nyah), so I've already read through them all.

My initial favorite correction:

"In an April 30 “TV Club,” Julia Turner misstated when Sally Draper ate the fish in Mad Men. It was before she saw the blow job."

Is not entirely accurate, or at least not now (maybe the author wrote the correction in a huff and copy editors toned it down).

Actual (current) correction:

"Correction, April 30, 2012: This post originally said Sally ate the fish after witnessing the blow job. She ate the fish just before."

Anyway, to get all meta, I think the fluid nature of Web publishing (i.e. get it live, then copy edit it) makes exercises like this a bit trivial, or at least more trivial than they used to be. Good call on the error of the year, though.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:04 AM on December 18, 2012


This post originally referred to Jennifer Grey as “Ferris Bueller’s sister.” As commenters have pointed out, her role alongside Swayze in Dirty Dancing is clearly the more relevant.

PIFFLE
posted by DU at 9:05 AM on December 18, 2012 [14 favorites]


Re: the last item, "Outfielder Sidney Fontenot," what? The dangling fragment is killing me!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:07 AM on December 18, 2012


How is that a production error?

Looks like a transcription error to me and then they included the last sentence in the correction to clear up what he meant.
posted by DU at 9:09 AM on December 18, 2012


I remember CNN cracking wise about an instagram outage where (paraphrasing) people wouldn't be able to document what sandwiches they were eating, and I thought, "Hey, remember when Instagram fucked up the most important Supreme Court decision of our lives?"
posted by boo_radley at 9:11 AM on December 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


The production error is the missing period.

It’s not like 25 years ago. I was killing everybody. = 25 years ago I was killing everybody.

It’s not like 25 years ago I was killing everybody. = 25 years ago I wasn't killing everybody.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:12 AM on December 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


The CNN anchors calling the wrong guy at 6am was amusing. They seem pretty loopy.
posted by zarq at 9:14 AM on December 18, 2012


I liked this one.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:23 AM on December 18, 2012


Talking about performing in the musical “The Who’s Tommy,” the actor and singer Michael Cerveris said, “I couldn’t sing it all when I got the job.” An article on Mr. Cerveris in the latest Friday Journal incorrectly quoted him as saying, “I couldn’t sing at all when I got the job.”

I can't breathe, somebody help me stop laughing, I need to be able to function again sometime today!
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 9:26 AM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hilarious: ABC Denver reportedly misnames Petraeus biography "All Up In My Snatch."
posted by Daddy-O at 9:30 AM on December 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


I heard this on the radio. I'm really puzzled why this one from the NYT didn't make the list (at least as a runner-up):

An earlier version of this article misidentified the beverage that Ahmed Abu Khattala was drinking at the hotel. It was a strawberry frappe, not mango juice, which is what he had ordered.
posted by AwkwardPause at 9:32 AM on December 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Though it's only a consumer blog, this correction by The Wirecutter is a model for how to do it right.
posted by fairmettle at 9:32 AM on December 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


The correct quote is “Hell is other people,” not “Hell is other people at breakfast.”

Well, there's correct as in accurate, and correct as in true.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:36 AM on December 18, 2012 [13 favorites]


François Mitterrand, the former French president, is reported to have said that Margaret Thatcher had the mouth of Marilyn Monroe and the eyes of Caligula — not Stalin, as reported in an earlier version of this article.

Well. OK then. That's .... very slightly less bizarre, I guess? Maybe?
posted by The Bellman at 9:39 AM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


my favorite:

I misspoke this evening on the Special Report panel. I suggested that Godzilla was less destructive than King Kong. And everyone knows that it’s the other way around. I apologize for any offense to the Kong family or to Godzilla’s fans — or victims.
posted by notme at 9:39 AM on December 18, 2012


This one made me chuckle:

Slate: In a March 2 “Future Tense” blog post, Torie Bosch misspelled the science fiction award won by writer Bruce Sterling. It is of course the Hugo Award, not the Huge Award.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 9:42 AM on December 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


So Ted Koppel is a robot!
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:43 AM on December 18, 2012


"A column by Glenn Garvin on Dec. 20 stated that the National Science Foundation “funded a study on Jell-O wrestling at the South Pole.” That is incorrect. The event took place during off-duty hours without NSF permission and did not involve taxpayer funds."

Ace. Jell-O wrestling. A new Winter Olympics sport is born.
posted by marienbad at 9:44 AM on December 18, 2012


This one from 2008 is still my all-time favorite:
In the June 20 “Culturebox,” Jonah Weiner stated that Lil Wayne was the first hip-hop artist to fantasize about eating his competition. Other rappers have contemplated consuming their rivals.
posted by mcmile at 9:50 AM on December 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


I forgive CNN for their fuck up on the health care mandate story only because it made this happen.
posted by eyeballkid at 9:53 AM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Margaret Thatcher had the mouth of Marilyn Monroe and the eyes of Caligula"

Shurely there must be thousands of people who look like that? Anyone seen any?
posted by marienbad at 9:54 AM on December 18, 2012


I think the top award should have gone to TAL for their Apple factory story recovery and how they turned the whole thing around into a good bit of journalism.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 9:59 AM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Missed the best one.

Corrections: November 30, 2012. An article on Thursday about efforts by the hedge fund manager Steven A. Cohen to defend his firm, SAC Capital Advisors, against a government inquiry into insider trading misstated the size of Mr. Cohen’s house in Greenwich, Conn. It is 35,000 square feet, not 14,000.

The best part is you know his assistant called up the NYT spitting fire.
posted by JPD at 10:08 AM on December 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


It would seem journalistic errors are likely to get worse. NPR ran a story this morning about how almost every outlet covering the tragedy in CT got so many facts wrong.
posted by Toekneesan at 10:11 AM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


It would seem journalistic errors are likely to get worse. NPR ran a story this morning about how almost every outlet covering the tragedy in CT got so many facts wrong.

You can have news that's quick, or news that's correct. You just can't have both.
posted by tommasz at 10:12 AM on December 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


^ And therein lies the problem with the 24 hour "news" cycle.
posted by brand-gnu at 10:16 AM on December 18, 2012


NPR ran a story this morning about how almost every outlet covering the tragedy in CT got so many facts wrong.

Page views will always be more important than actual factual information.
posted by elizardbits at 10:19 AM on December 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


GOOD THING WE DONT LIVEBLOG HERE AMIRITE
posted by skrozidile at 10:20 AM on December 18, 2012


GOOD THING WE DONT LIVEBLOG HERE AMIRITE

Well, not until slightly later in the day.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:29 AM on December 18, 2012


Please, I beg of whoever reads the original linked article, click through to the Atlantic Wire story about the worst typos. If you haven't seen their #15 typo, you haven't lived.
posted by dlugoczaj at 10:33 AM on December 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Potomac Avenue: “How is that a production error?”

Er – the only difference between the two is a period. Doesn't it seem like a period could be a production error? Although I guess it could also be an error in interpretation of sources on the reporter's part. Still quite plausible as an error, though, isn't it?
posted by koeselitz at 10:46 AM on December 18, 2012


CTRL+F "Neil Armstrong" WHAT?!
This was by far the best media error that was not listed: Neil Armstrong/Neil Young mix up
posted by ghostbikes at 11:14 AM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


That Supreme Court debacle was glorious because it made the conservative suffering so much sweeter. I remember seeing first the elation then the devastation. Their tears were so sweet.

Is there a German word for "joy at the suffering of others that should be shameful but isn't because fuck those assholes"?
posted by Sangermaine at 11:48 AM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jysufringbecausfukthasasshoolz, I think. But I've been wrong before.
posted by stet at 12:02 PM on December 18, 2012


“It’s not like 25 years ago. I was killing everybody.” In fact, he said: “It’s not like 25 years ago I was killing everybody."

Good illustration of the importance of punctuation.
posted by eye of newt at 12:06 PM on December 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


My favorite Slate correction(s) actually come at the bottom of a recent article on whisk(e)y. The corrections are almost longer than the article. You can just hear the whiskey experts seething as you read the lengthy list of errors.
posted by librarylis at 6:09 PM on December 18, 2012


Davis is recovering from a herniated dick.

That was a hard--and flagrant--foul.
posted by riverlife at 12:55 AM on December 19, 2012


« Older Income based repayment is touted as a solution t...  |  Torontoist has named their 201... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments