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AP story about Petraeus scandal mistakenly refers to “Florida socialist” Jill Kelley

An early version of an Associated Press story about the David Petraeus resignation and ensuing scandal mistakenly referred to Jill Kelley as a “socialist” rather than a socialite.

The error made it onto many websites, as evidenced by Google:

Many sites have fixed the error, though the typo is still live on Breitbart.

Here’s how the uncorrected version of the story reads (emphasis mine):

WASHINGTON (AP) — The two women at the center of David Petraeus‘ downfall as CIA director visited the White House separately on various occasions in what appear to be unrelated calls that did not result in meetings with President Barack Obama.

A White House official said Paula Broadwell, who was writing a book about Petraeus and eventually became his paramour, attended meetings in June 2009 and June 2011 on Afghanistan-Pakistan policy in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which is located on the White House complex not far from the West Wing.

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The Globe and Mail’s front page typo makes bad week worse

It’s been rough week for Canada’s Globe And Mail. A plagiarism scandal engulfed one of its premier columnists and it’s facing criticism for letting a freelance columnist use a regular real estate feature to promote the sale of her house.

Now, this:

It appeared in an edition of the paper that’s distributed in only one part of the country, as far as we can tell. But of course it did not go unnoticed. Read more


How a typo helped reveal Harvard University cheaters

The Harvard Crimson | The Miami Herald
Harvard Assistant Professor Matthew B. Platt made a recent discovery that led the university to investigate about 125 students it accuses of cheating on a take-home exam. He noticed that two students inserted the same superfluous space in a statistic, writing “25, 500″ instead of “25,500.” The similarity led him to believe the coincidences were “not the product of chance,” Mercer R. Cook and Rebecca D. Robbins report in The Harvard Crimson.

Another problem:

He wrote that one of his teaching fellows originally detected suspicious similarities on that question, which read, “Describe two developments in the history of Congress that ostensibly gave individual MCs [members of Congress] in the House greater freedom and/or control but ultimately centralized power in the hands of party leadership.”

Several students answered that question with the same two “somewhat obscure” responses—the Cannon Revolt of 1910 and longtime 19th century Congressman Henry Clay, Platt wrote.

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Sarcoa error1

Paper confuses name of local restaurant with form of cancer

Continuing with today’s theme of embarrassing media mistakes about restaurants, I offer you this seemingly mundane correction from Canada’s Hamilton Spectator:

In the June 16 edition, the name of Hamilton waterfront restaurant Sarcoa was misspelled. The Spectator regrets the error.

No, it’s not great for a new restaurant to have its name misspelled in the local paper. But even worse is the mistaken name offered by the paper: Sarcoma. That’s a form of cancer. Yeah, worse than just a misspelled name. But very memorable!

Here’s the offending article:

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Only in ‘Amercia’: Romney app needs copy editing

Charles Apple | Washington Post
Perhaps some of the copy editors losing their newspaper jobs could find new employment with the presidential campaigns. The Romney campaign released a “With Mitt” iPhone app Tuesday that lets users “customize photos with a variety of Mitt-inspired artistic frames, add personalized messages, and then share with your friends.” One of the 14 superimposed photo messages calls for “A Better Amercia.”

Romney app misspelling
What the view from my balcony looks like in “A Better Amercia.”

The Washington Post reports the Romney campaign has submitted a corrected app to Apple for approval. Apple says it usually completes its app review process within five business days, so we may see Amercia-stamped photos floating around for a few more days.

Earlier: Downward “sprial” for Denver Post copy editing? Read more


The Los Angeles Times mistakenly turned an oral exam into a “moral” one:

State bar: An article in the May 17 LATExtra section about the California Supreme Court considering a request by the state bar to allow an illegal immigrant to practice law said that Sergio C. Garcia had passed a written test and a moral examination. It was an oral examination.

Thanks to Steve Lamont for emailing it in.

Los Angeles Times

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Daily Beast notes the acerbic pen of editor Bill Bradlee. Wait, who?

Call the irony police.

A Daily Beast story about some of the best correspondence from former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee (note the first name) contains this 1978 advice in reply to a young man who asked for a job:

Even though you are still young, very young, let me give you some advice. When you write the editor of a newspaper for a job, other things being equal, you stand a better shot if you spell his name right.

No doubt an embarrassing moment for the young journalist. But the item bears a special resonance today in light of the fact that the Daily Beast story itself manages to, yes, misspell Bradlee’s name. His first name, to be specific.

Here’s the opening paragraph of the story as it currently exists on the site (emphasis added):

Former Washington Post reporter Jeff Himmelman sketches a vivid portrait of the legendary Post editor Bill Bradlee in his new authorized biography, Yours in Truth.

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Washington Post writer turns Benedict Cumberbatch into ‘Bandersnatch Cummerbund’

At first I guessed it was a spell-check error that transformed fantastically-named “Sherlock” actor Benedict Cumberbatch into “Bandersnatch Cummerbund” in a Washington Post story, but I was wrong.

(Via @Alex_Ogle and @sstummeafp)

It was also in the online version:

However, msnbc.com reporter Alex Johnson thought it was a deliberate bit by the writer, Lisa de Moraes:

Turns out, he was right. Washington Post senior social media producer T. J. Ortenzi says it was intentional, and we can expect to see something from de Moraes soon explaining the name choice:

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A typo in The Observer (U.K.) suggested people were receiving insect, rather than ear, implants:

A brief guide to neuroscience (“The brain. . . it makes you think. Doesn’t it?”, Discover, New Review, last week, page 19) referred to “cochineal implants” in a sub-heading. That should, of course, have been cochlear implants.

The Observer

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Ottawa Citizen front page reports that Titanic sank in 2012

Note the date in the photo caption of this Ottawa Citizen front page image from April 7:

Here’s the resulting correction that ran Sunday:

RMS Titanic struck an iceberg and sank in the Atlantic Ocean in 1912. An incorrect date appeared in Saturday’s Citizen.

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