July 12, 2004

The Roland Emmerich movie is in turnaround

The Wall Street Journal today profiles New York Times ombudsman Dan Okrent. Here's the graf that caught my eye:

"One reporter encouraged colleagues to ask confrontational questions in a meeting between Mr. Okrent and business-section reporters. 'Sometimes you have to treat others like the Russians -- you have to demonstrate strength,' says the reporter, David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize winner. 'I'm just waiting for him to screw up,' Mr. Okrent retorts in an interview. He hastens to say the comment was a joke and that he will avoid tackling any issue concerning Mr. Johnston."

Wait a second -- David Johnston? Isn't that the guy who I caught in a screw-up just last week regarding the claim that Al Qaida is targetting the convention in New York "because President Bush is a Republican"?

Well, yes and no [Update: Or rather, no and no. David Johnston is not David Cay Johnston. See jump]. Okrent's response to me: "Good catch: David Johnston didn't write it this way, and it got muffed on the desk."

Believe me, I know how it feels to get muffed on the desk. I don't care where the blame lies, but I do hope the Times runs a correction just to prevent this non-factoid from entering the public record.

Update: We get results (despite a muff of our own). After the jump...

Here's the official correction:

"Because of an editing error, an article on July 5 about the potential for terrorist attacks at the political conventions this summer imprecisely described one reason that counterterrorism officials believe the Republican convention in New York City is a higher risk than the Democratic gathering in Boston. The Republican gathering is regarded as a higher risk because an incumbent from that party is in the White House."

Hey, shouldn't that last sentence continue with the words, "not because..." It's like they're going out of their way not to let you know what the original error was.

Speaking of errors, Trondant points out in the comments that there are two David Johnstons at the Times. Is that even legal? Maybe Okrent should be investigating that instead of poor Tony Hendra!

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Your post is confused: David Cay Johnston and David Johnston are two entirely different people - one writes for the business desk, the other the national desk at the Times.

Close enough for blogging :)

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