WashPost Mangles the Correction of "Novice Protester" Hoax: It's Not "Incorrect"?

Last month, I noticed after a few seconds of Googling that "novice protester" Patrice Cuddy of Kansas, highlighted by Washington Post reporter Petula Dvorak, was not a novice at all, and could be easily found marching against the war before it even began in 2003. Chris Fotos at PostWatch notes that the Post finally put up a "correction" of sorts yesterday, drily acknowledging that "Cuddy had participated in three other large rallies against the war, two in Washington and one in New York."But then look what Fotos found on the Post website: in the correction appended to the story, it betrayed a clue into the real feeling at the Post: "A Sept. 23 Metro article about people coming to Washington for the Sept. 24 demonstration against the war in Iraq described ^ (don't want to say "incorrectly" in this case) Patrice Cuddy, 56, of Olathe, Kan., as a novice protester. Cuddy had participated in three other large rallies against the war, two in Washington and one in New York."  How on Earth would someone in charge of "corrections" say they wouldn't want to say it's "incorrect" in this case? They "don't want to" give off the appearance of caring about accuracy more than political impact?It's once again more proof of what PBS is getting in picking up WashPost ombudsman Michael Getler, who failed to address the Cuddy error or the Post's habit of sanitizing the "peace movement." Instead, he signed off yesterday by once again hammering on how the media were a bunch of pipsqueaks who should have done more to prevent the Iraq war from happening. He boasted of "two dozen columns"  pounding on the insufficiently aggressive pre-war coverage. He asked: "How did a country on the leading edge of the information age get this so wrong and express so little skepticism and challenge?" In the meantime, war opponents get NO skepticism or challenge from Mr. Getler. He's a passionate anti-war liberal. He's just what PBS ordered.PS: You can see some other nice Cuddy-exposing blogs from Spacecraft and Stop The Bleating.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis