Following NY Times ‘My Little Pony’ correction, LA Times offers one of its own

Brace yourselves: Another major newspaper has issued a “My Little Pony” correction.

Why is this so notable?

In late in 2011, The New York Times published a correction about “My Little Pony” that attracted a huge amount of online interest:

An article on Monday about Jack Robison and Kirsten Lindsmith, two college students with Asperger syndrome who are navigating the perils of an intimate relationship, misidentified the character from the animated children’s TV show ”My Little Pony” that Ms. Lindsmith said she visualized to cheer herself up. It is Twilight Sparkle, the nerdy intellectual, not Fluttershy, the kind animal lover.

It’s a wonderful thing to see the Paper of Record correct the personality details of cartoon ponies with such fanciful names.

No surprise, then, that the correction went viral, with coverage on Gawker, BuzzFeed, The New York Observer, and other places. Jim Romenesko got the author of the corrected article, Amy Harmon, to offer a detailed explanation of how the mistake happened. I also collected similarly amusing pop culture corrections from the Times.

That brings us to now. Amazingly, the Los Angeles Times this weekend offered a brony “My Little Pony” correction (I found the correction via LexisNexis but was unable to find a link on the paper’s corrections page.)

“My Little Pony”: An April 22 article about young men who enjoy “My Little Pony” and call themselves bronies (combining “bro” and “ponies”) said that members of SoCal Brony, one such fan organization, are planning the first brony convention for the Anaheim Convention Center in November. The event would be the first such convention in Southern California. The article also described the character of Shining Armor as the show’s first male pony. He was not the first.

Will this correction go viral like its predecessor? Let’s break it down:

  • Error about the characteristics of at least one pony? Check.
  • Amusing “My Little Pony” name near the end of the correction? Check.
  • The Los Angeles Times also gets an extra point for mentioning the brony subculture.
  • The New York Times’ offering, however, is still a better and more amusing read, thanks to the straight-faced reporting of the characteristics of two amusingly-named ponies. (Maybe, for example, the Los Angeles Times correction could have mentioned that Shining Armor serves as the Captain of Canterlot’s Royal Guard and is in fact a unicorn stallion.)
  • The Los Angeles Times correction also fails to add to its viral quotient by naming the show’s first male pony, thereby missing a critical opportunity to list yet another amusingly-named pony.

Verdict: This new correction is unlikely to attract the same interest as The Grey Lady’s, though it will generate some attention due to its predecessor’s place in the history.

Correction: This post originally misspelled LexisNexis as LexusNexis.

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  • Roy

    For the record, the first male pony in the current “My Little Pony” series was probably one of two unnamed pegasus palace guards seen flying Twilight Sparkle and Spike to Ponyville in the series’ first scene.  The first named male character was probably Big Macintosh, older brother to Applejack and Apple Bloom.

  • CraigSilverman

    Thank you for this, Henry. I’m glad I managed to catch the correction on Sunday. I’ve in the past noticed that the Times often repeats corrections in its sunday paper. I’d love to know more about that practice if you or Deidre could fill me in. silvermancraig at gmail.

    It was also great to meet your in person at the ACES conference.

  • Henry Fuhrmann

    Thanks for spotting this, Craig. I apologize for the lack of web link to
    our correction, an oversight we have since, er, corrected: (The correction ran originally on April 22 in our
    main news section; it was repeated April 29 in our Sunday entertainment
    section.) I remember well the New York Times correction and bow to its
    superior entertainment value (and the fun treatment thereof by you,
    Gawker, et al.). I didn’t write ours, but I wouldn’t want to be accused
    to trying to ride that earlier correction’s viral coattails. Here’s hoping that the bronies are a forgiving lot. 
         — Henry (on behalf of the L.A. Times copy desk)

  • DerpySquad

    In general its where the community grew from, more the /co/ board of 4chan than /b/ though.

  • Daniel Schultz

    Worth pointing out that 4chan’s /b/ is obsessed with My Little Pony.