30,000 pigs: ten of the best newspaper corrections

By Toby Manhire In The Internaut

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A correction in the Washington Post delighted lovers of the form the other day. Which is as good an excuse as any to select some of the finest newspaper corrections – beginning with the latest WaPo example, and in no particular order.

 

1. “An Oct. 14 Style article about access to the prison camp for terrorism suspects at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, incorrectly referred to Navy Capt. Robert Durand as ‘thickset’. He should have been described as muscular.”

Washington Post, 2013

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2. “Last Sunday, The Herald erroneously reported that original Dolphin Johnny Holmes had been an insurance salesman in Raleigh, NC, that he had won the New York lottery in 1982 and lost the money in a land swindle, that he had been charged with vehicular homicide but acquitted because his mother said she drove the car, and that he stated that the funniest thing he ever saw was Flipper spouting water on George Wilson. Each of these items was erroneous material published inadvertently. He was not an insurance salesman in Raleigh, did not win the lottery, neither he nor his mother was charged or involved in any way with a vehicular homicide, and he made no comment about Flipper or George Wilson. The Herald regrets the errors.”

Miami Herald, 1986

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3. “Due to a typing error, Saturday’s story on local artist Jon Henninger mistakenly reported that Henninger’s band mate, Eric Lyday, was on drugs. The story should have read that Lyday was on drums.”

Morning Sentinel, Illinois, 2012

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4. “An earlier version of this article misidentified the number of years E.B. White wrote for The New Yorker. It was five decades, not centuries.”

New York Times, 2012

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5. “In our interview with Sir Jack Hayward, the chairman of Wolverhampton Wanderers, page 20, Sport, yesterday, we mistakenly attributed to him the following comment: ‘Our team was the worst in the First Division and I’m sure it’ll be the worst in the Premier League.’ Sir Jack had just declined the offer of a hot drink. What he actually said was ‘Our tea was the worst in the First Division and I’m sure it’ll be the worst in the Premier League.’ Profuse apologies.”

Guardian, 2003

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6. “An article on Nov. 10 about animal rights referred erroneously to an island in the Indian Ocean and to events there involving goats and endangered giant sea sparrows that could possibly lead to the killing of goats by environmental groups. Wrightson Island does not exist; both the island and the events are hypothetical figments from a book (also mentioned in the article), ”Beginning Again,” by David Ehrenfeld. No giant sea sparrow is known to be endangered by the eating habits of goats.”

New York Times, 2002

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7. “In an article on Saturday headlined ‘Flying saucers over British Scientology HQ’, we stated ‘two flat silver discs’ were seen ‘above the Church of Scientology HQ’. Following a letter from lawyers for the Church, we apologise to any alien lifeforms for linking them to Scientologists.”

Sun, 2013

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8. “The Ottawa Citizen and Southam News wish to apologize for our apology to Mark Steyn, published Oct. 22. In correcting the incorrect statements about Mr. Steyn published Oct. 15, we incorrectly published the incorrect correction. We accept and regret that our initial regrets were unacceptable and we apologize to Mr. Steyn for any distress caused by our previous apology.”

Ottawa Citizen, 2001

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9. “A Nov. 26 article in the District edition of Local Living incorrectly said a Public Enemy song declared 9/11 a joke. The song refers to 911, the emergency phone number.”

Washington Post, 2009

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10. “There was an error printed in a story titled ‘Pigs float down the Dawson’ on Page 11 of yesterday’s Bully. The story, by reporter Daniel Burdon, said ‘more than 30,000 pigs were floating down the Dawson River’. What Baralaba piggery owner Sid Everingham actually said was ’30 sows and pigs’, not ’30,000 pigs’. The Morning Bulletin would like to apologise for this error, which was also reprinted in today’s Rural Weekly CQ before the mistake was known.”

Morning Bulletin, Australia

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