Today’s New York Times includes a correction to rectify a mistaken claim contained in a Brian Stelter story. In a look at the depiction of gay characters on TV, he wrote that Bill O’Reilly had complained about Chaz Bono being on “Dancing With the Stars.”
Here’s the correction:
An article on Wednesday about the growing acceptance of gay characters in television entertainment misstated the reaction of Bill O’Reilly, the Fox News host, when Chaz Bono became the first openly transgender contestant on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.” Mr. O’Reilly interviewed a psychiatrist who was critical of the inclusion of Mr. Bono on the program, but Mr. O’Reilly expressed support for Mr. Bono; he did not complain about Mr. Bono’s participation. The article also misidentified the gay character in the “Modern Family” series on ABC who had a disdain for public displays of affection. The character is Mitchell Pritchett, not Cameron Tucker.
Stelter also Tweeted the correction this morning, and linked to a clip of O’Reilly mentioning the error on his Fox News show last night:
Bill O’Reilly called me out last night bit.ly/JgQYqn for wrongly saying in Wednesday’s NYT that he complained about Chaz Bono. (1/2)
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 11, 2012
I asked Stelter if the correction was planned prior to O’Reilly’s segment, and he said it was. His reply also offered background on of his decision to tweet the correction:
Yes, it was planned well before his broadcast. The story was published on Tuesday night; Bill O’Reilly’s executive producer informed my editor of the error on Wednesday afternoon; and the correction was drafted on Wednesday evening. By then it was too late to include in Thursday’s corrections box, so that’s why it appears in Friday’s box.
I had received a few tweets and emails from Bill O’Reilly’s viewers accusing me of lying, so I replied and explained that it was a mistake, not an intentional lie. Then I decided to tweet it out widely.
A nice bit of follow up and accountability.