Wow. I’ve made Daily Kos! Check it out here.
But before you read Daily Kos’ rant, here are the facts: Yes, I made a stupid mistake in my Sunday column.
I was not working on Monday but I routinely check my e-mail remotely and as soon as I realized I made the mistake, I sent in a correction to my editors.
Unfortunately, the correction fell through the cracks and didn’t make it into the newspaper today or the online version. As soon as I realized this morning that it had not been resolved, I chased it down and fixed the online version this morning. The printed version, or so they promise me, will appear in tomorrow’s paper.
What was the error? I swapped the outcomes of the House of Representatives’ votes on the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. In the Afghanistan vote, only Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, voted no. In the Iraq War, 126 Democrats voted against it.
Absolutely, I should have caught it. The two or three editors who read the column should have caught it.
But we didn’t. Mistakes happen. It wasn’t intentional nor was it part of some grand scheme to misinform people.
Do I feel stupid? Absolutely. No reporter wants to make mistakes and we are usually a lot harder on ourselves when we make a mistake than you might imagine.
But Daily Kos, no one likes a bully.
A reader correctly pointed out that we should have shown the correction on-line as a correction rather than just make the change. If you click on the link to column, you will now see the error sentence with a line through it and the corrected sentence following it.
Here’s what our on-line editor Ari Soglin had to say when I asked him about the proper format for making on-line corrections. It did require some extra work on his part.
I agree with this bloggers’ comments about how corrections should be displayed when it’s more than just, say, a typo or grammatical fix, and it’s been online for some time.
In blogging software, it’s easy to do a strikethrough of the old text and insert new material. We don’t have a content management system that makes life that simple, which is why we don’t routinely handle corrections that way. It would be more labor intensive.
Til we have a software solution, we’d need to devote some staff resources to corrections to display them in this manner. It’s not a huge task on one correction, but it’s also not unusual to have several corrections a day.
We’re examining all sorts of priorities when it comes to devoting more resources to online, and how we handle corrections is on that list.