The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Tuesday, February 08, 2005
 

After Rich R Danu, the Post gets fooled again


No doubt, social items get less close attention, factwise, than than heavier items in the Washington Post.

But, after the Freedom Ball snafu (January 31), it seems the rag has done it again:
A Feb. 5 Names & Faces item on an Evite to Michael Saylor's birthday party was based on a copy of the invitation that had been partially forged before it was sent to The Post. The original Evite from MicroStrategy's CEO said the party will be "exotic, mysterious and ebullient," but it did not say "erotic." It said "Think 'Alias' (the TV show), but sexier," but did not include "much sexier," as was reported. The original also specified "cocktail dresses," but did not say "the shorter the better." And, the original did not end with -- or even contain -- the words "no one leaves alone."...

Logically, the amount of checking an item gets should directly proportional to the embarrassment that would be caused by the paper getting it factually wrong. (In this case, close to zero.) Rathergate showed an inverse proportional rule at work (the bigger the story, the greater the reluctance to check).

My understanding is that there is no such job title as fact-checker in a paper like the Post - might be a mistake.


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