NBC and Brian Williams still have explaining to do

Brian Williams moderates a debate between presidential candidates in 2008 file photo.  (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

Brian Williams moderates a debate between presidential candidates in 2008 file photo. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

I believe in second chances and redemption. But NBC’s decision to move Brian Williams to MSNBC isn’t enough of an endgame move for me.

NBC News has not released the findings of its investigation into inaccurate and embellished statements that Williams made on the news and on other non-news programs. Williams was interviewed by “Today”‘s Matt Lauer, and those segments will air Friday. In a statement sent to NBC employees, Williams is quoted as saying,

I’m sorry. I said things that weren’t true. I let down my NBC colleagues and our viewers, and I’m determined to earn back their trust. I will greatly miss working with the team on Nightly News, but I know the broadcast will be in excellent hands with Lester Holt as anchor.

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Ottawa Citizen apologizes to David Bowie for ‘Space Oddity’ accusation

In May, the Ottawa Citizen published an op-ed from a university professor that began with an accusatory opening line:  “David Bowie stole a piece of Canadian culture on Wednesday.”

It was dead wrong.

The piece claimed Bowie was personally responsible for having astronaut Chris Hadfield’s version of “Space Oddity” removed from YouTube. Professor Blayne Haggart wrote that “the world was only allowed to see the video because Bowie had granted Hadfield a one-year license to show it. On May 14, the license expired and Hadfield removed it from public view.”

Today, the paper apologized for the error. Turns out Bowie does not own the copyright for that song, and he in fact made efforts to try and get the owner to give the necessary permissions. Read more

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Ottawa Citizen publishes front page apology to police officer

Canada’s Ottawa Citizen today published an above the fold front page apology to a police officer it falsely accused of violating a citizen’s rights.

Here’s the apology, which is also online:

The paper ran Friday’s apology in the same location as Thursday’s original story by crime reporter Gary Dimmock. Here’s how it began:

Here’s today’s front page, with the apology:

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Of two men who share a very similar name, the wrong one was named as an alleged abuser by Canada’s Chronicle-Herald:

In Wednesday’s edition, Herbie Desmond was identi­fied as a former Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission worker who now works at the Nova Scotia Liquor Corp.

The reference to Desmond was made as part of The Chronicle Herald’s investiga­tion into abuse allegations at the Nova Scotia Home For Colored Children.

Herbie Thomas Desmond, the man accused of abuse at the home, worked at the Human Rights Commission but does not work for the liquor corporation.

Herbert (Herbie) Caywood Desmond, however, is a long-standing liquor corpora­tion employee and has no connection to the home or the subject matter of the series.

The Chronicle Herald sincerely regrets the error and apologizes to Herbert Caywood Desmond for any upset or embarrassment.

Hap tip to Natascia Lypny



U.K. tabloid the Daily Mirror apologizes for saying that a female musician was one of many women who supposedly slept with a well known BBC DJ:

Following our article of 1 May 2012 in which it was reported that Lyn Paul of the New Seekers was a “conquest” of Tony Blackburn, Ms Paul has contacted us to say that she merely shared a dinner date with Tony Blackburn and neither slept with him nor had a relationship with him.  We are happy to make this clear and apologise to Ms Paul for any upset caused.

Via Tabloid Watch

Daily Mirror

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Three U.K. publishers pay damages for false accusations

Three major U.K. publishers last week apologized and paid damages to an Algerian man they accused of being a “gangster” and offering a safe house to terrorists, among other false claims. The publishers removed the offending pieces from their websites and published online notices about the apology and a recent court appearance.

Here’s the apology from Metro U.K.:

Metro and other publishers yesterday told the High Court they had paid substantial damages to an Algerian man for wrongly reporting that he offered a safe house in France to British al-Qaeda terrorists.

Associated Newspapers, the publisher of MailOnline and Metro; The Telegraph Media Group; MGN, the publisher of the Daily Mirror; and the publisher of the Daily Express apologised to Farid Boukemiche, 40. Some reports said he was on trial in France in January 2011 for associating with a known terrorist organisation and for financing terrorism.

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The Daily Mirror apologizes for a major photo error:

APOLOGY to Patricia Belda Martinez.

WITH Saturday’s Daily Mirror we distributed a supplement entitled ‘Women who Kill’ which we trailed on the front page of the newspaper with a picture of the front page of the supplement.

One of the women whose story featured in the supplement was Vera Renczi who lived in the former Yugoslavia between 1903 and 1939 and who killed 35 men. Unfortunately due to an error the picture we used, both inside and on the front page of the supplement, was not of Vera Renczi but of Patricia Belda Martinez, who is otherwise known as Morgana and who is a fashion model. The picture we used belongs to Ms Martinez.

We apologise unreservedly to Ms Martinez for our error in wrongly using her picture in the supplement which she, of course, has no connection with and for the considerable embarrassment caused to her by our actions.

Via Tabloid Watch

The Daily Mirror


Mail on Sunday issues second apology to Société Générale for false story

As noted by Tabloid Watch, The Mail on Sunday this weekend issued a second apology to Société Générale for an inaccurate article last year that said the bank was on the “brink of disaster.”

That report was suspected to have been the result of the paper misinterpreting a fictional summer series by Le Monde. As The New York Times explained:

The series, “End of the Line for the Euro,” looked at how a collapse of the single currency might play out, against the backdrop of French presidential elections next year. While the 12-part story was clearly labeled as fiction, it named real banks, like Société Générale, whose shares plunged 15 percent last Wednesday, prompting the bank to deny speculation that it was in financial trouble.

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The Independent corrects a false claim about Hugo Chavez:

An article in our foreign pages recently alleged that President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela had indulged in a “homophobic rant” against a political rival. We now accept that President Chavez did no such thing. We are happy to set the record straight.

The Independent


Washington Post ombudsman Patrick B. Pexton admits his errors in a previous blog post:

Caw, caw, caw, crunch! That’s the sound of me eating crow. It’s not the most pleasant repast I’ve had — the feathers don’t go down so easy — but it is a necessary one.

I did a blog post this past Friday that was dismissive, snarky and wrongheaded, and had factual errors too. And I apologize to readers for it and I’ll try to repair some of the damage here.

Thanks to @CJR for the tip.

Washington Post

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