Canada’s Hamilton Spectator today published an amusing correction to a letter to the editor that had included details that turned out to be fake.
Here’s the correction to the letter, which had focused on an endangered butternut tree that has delayed some construction work in the city:
A letter to the editor about the Queen Street Hill butternut tree in the Oct. 21 Spectator contained incorrect information. The City of Hamilton has not hired security guards to protect the tree. The author mistook a satirical story in another publication for reality. The letter ran in error.
We regret the error.
Here’s a sample from the satirical story in question, “City hires 24-hour armed guard for endangered Queen St. butternut tree”:
The city’s special disease resistant butternut tree requires a special constable, the city has determined.
As part of the massive rebuild of the Queen Street Hill (formally known as Beckett Drive) currently under way, the city will be erecting a four-season guard booth near the tree adjacent to the roadway.
Once completed, three security personnel specially trained in botanical protection will keep watch on the butternut sapling in rotating shifts. The guards will carry Tasers, and the cost of the initiative is $380,000.
Hat tip to @NicoleMacIntyre