Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Error Prone

It was suggested earlier that Dan's contract must contain a clause prohibiting the Globe from running corrections to his column. As recent events have shown, that's not quite true. What the record also shows, however, is that the Globe does a lousy job of living up to its written objective to quickly identify and correct errors in print.

Here's a list of recent corrections to Dan's work. Some of these mistakes are downright embarrassing, e.g., not knowing Mark Mulder is lefthanded or mocking Ed Anzalone for "dressing up" as a fireman for Jets games (Anzalone is a fireman). (The date of the mistake is bolded, and the date of the correction notice is in parens at the end.)

Feb. 6, 2006 -- Correction: Because of an editing error, Terry Bradshaw was incorrectly included in a list of former Super Bowl MVPs who were introduced before this year's game in two stories in the Feb. 6 Sports section. (Correction published Feb. 15, 2006)

Feb. 3, 2006 -- Omission: Linebacker Dwayne Sabb was omitted from a list of University of New Hampshire players who have played in the Super Bowl in Dan Shaughnessy's column in the Feb. 3 Sports section. (Feb. 14, 2006)

June 13, 2005 -- Correction: Because of a reporting error, the name of Gary Alexander was incorrect in a column about Red Sox fans at Wrigley Field in the June 13 Sports section. (June 30, 2005)

June 11, 2005 -- Correction: Because of a reporting error, the birthplace for Chris Chelios of the Detroit Red Wings was incorrect in Dan Shaughnessy's column in Saturday's paper. Chelios was born in Chicago. (June 14, 2005)

May 30, 2004 -- Correction : Because of a reporting error, a column in the May 30 Sports section comparing Manny Ramirez with Joe DiMaggio gave an incorrect career batting average for Ramirez entering this season. Ramirez had a .317 average before 2004. (June 23, 2004)

Dec. 29, 2003 -- Correction: Because of a reporting error, the losing pitcher in Game 6 of the 2003 World Series was incorrect in Dan Shaughnessy's column in yesterday's Sports section. Andy Pettitte was the loser. Also, because of an editing error, the game in question was misidentified in some editions as Game 7. (Dec 30, 2003)

Nov. 3, 2003 -- Correction: Because of a reporter's error, Ron Perry's term as Holy Cross athletic director was incorrect in a story in Monday's Sports section. Perry was AD from 1972 to 1998. (Nov. 5, 2003)

Oct. 2, 2003 -- Correction: Because of a reporting error, the time when the Red Sox playoff game ended was incorrect in Red Sox stories yesterday on page one and in the sports section. The game ended at 2:45 a.m. EDT. (Oct. 3, 2003)

March 16, 2003 -- Correction: Clarification: In Sunday's editions, a story on Red Sox GM Theo Epstein stated that John F. Kennedy was America's youngest president. Kennedy, at 43, was the youngest man elected president, but Theodore Roosevelt, at 42, was the youngest ever to serve as president, moving up from vice president when William McKinley was assassinated in 1901. (March 18, 2003)

Oct. 10, 2001 -- Correction: Because of a reporting error and incorrect information provided to the Globe, there were three errors in Dan Shaughnessy's column yesterday. Roger Clemens is 39, his career ERA in postseason games is 3.59, and Oakland pitcher Mark Mulder is lefthanded. (Oct. 10, 2001)

Sept. 24, 2001 -- Clarification: It was mentioned in Dan Shaughnessy's Monday column that New York Jets fan Ed Anzalone "dresses up as a fireman" for the games; Anzalone, in fact, is a New York City firefighter.

Dec. 17, 2000 -- Clarification: Dan Shaughnessy's column on Sunday may have left the impression that Patriots owner Bob Kraft did not play football at Columbia University as stated in the team's media guide. Kraft played 150-pound and under (lightweight) football, which was formerly a varsity sport at Columbia. (Dec. 19, 2000)

April 12, 2000 -- Correction: Because of a reporting error, the retired numbers of Joe Cronin and Bobby Doerr were reversed in Dan Shaughnessy's column in Wednesday's paper. Cronin wore No. 4 and Doerr wore No. 1. (April 14, 2000)

Jan. 24, 1988 -- Because of a reporting error, incorrect telephone numbers were listed for the Hyde Park Lions Club in Dan Shaughnessy's baseball column in Sunday's Globe. The correct numbers are 364-3410 and 361-2118. (Jan. 26, 1988)

This is hardly exhaustive, of course. And it does not reflect countless other errors that the Globe has simply chosen not to publicly fix, such as his Dec. 6, 2005, contention that 18 players with career marks of 350 homers and a .290 or better average have made the Hall of Fame ballot, which he contradicted just one month later by claiming there were 17.


Anonymous said...

What nonsequitor will OB come up with to try to distract from such vast numbers of mistakes?

jenny said...

Let's hear it for minor inconsequential corrections of trivial factual errors that distract from some of the REAL corrections that need to be made. Here's a partial list I've compiled, since I have way too much time on my hands:

1. Feb. 22, 2006: "Several of the translations provided were incorrect due to reporter error. The interviewers were speaking in civilized English, a language not fully understood by the reporter."

2. February 19, 2006: "A column incorrectly insinuated that Manny Ramirez would be late due to visa problems. Due to reporter oblivion and cherry-picking, the reporter missed the 3-day drama two years ago wherein Mr. Ramirez skipped a game to take the US citizenship test. Due to reporter stupidity, the reporter did not realize that US citizens do not require visas to live in their own country, or the reporter himself should have been deported. Unfortunately, this was not the case."

3. January 26, 2006: "Due to an accounting error, the reporter was mistakenly paid for writing this column, which was actually almost entirely dictated by Theo Epstein. Mr. Epstein has been sent a check for $140.27 and a complimentary refrigerator magnet."

4. January 20, 2006: "Due to reporter error, a column mistakenly identified Theo Epstein as immature and duplicitous. The Globe is not responsible for the retarded opinions of its employees and asks that it please not be named in Mr. Epstein's slander and defamation of character lawsuit."

6. December 21, 2006: "Due to reporter error, Johnny Damon was mistakenly identified as having the 'depth of a kiddie pool.' Johnny Damon's actual depth is closer to an aspirin bottle cap."

7. October 31, 2005: "Due to reporter error...forget it. The whole column was bullcrap. We don't get paid enough in this job."

Seriously disturbing note, though: CHB's Dave Barry imitation column of 2006 predictors actually missed the date of Theo's return by only ONE DAY. That freaked me out.

jenny said...

And it appears I can't number from 1-7. I'm going to bed now.

objectivebruce said...

Is there a point to this compilation which includes 9 published corrections to reporting errors in 18 years? How does this compare to other columnists or to -- shudder -- radio talk show hosts? Ooops. Sorry. Forgot you are dedicated to the hatred of a single individual. (Although the thought does occur to me that this blog is a parody, there being no other way to explain some of the absurdities).

And when is the blogger going to publish his correction of his false claim that the columnist wrote that the MIAA gave out schoolboy superbowl MVP awards?

What's the problem with saying a guy dresses up like a fireman? If he's not on duty, not coming from duty or heading to duty, he's dressing up.

I'll run off now, since I'm sure you're busy searching the archives to find something to quibble about in the Jim Rice column of today, a piece which represents a high form of the art of writing a column.

The Chief said...

"I write for the readers."

troywestfield said...

"... 9 published corrections to reporting errors in 18 years ..."

Or, using what elite-level mathemeticians refer to as "addition," 12 published corrections to reporting errors in 6 years.

"... the Jim Rice column of today, a piece which represents a high form of the art of writing a column."

Um ... really? Because to me it read more like a feature. Lot of quotes ... no opinion offered by the columnist ... I mean none, whatsoever. Perhaps I don't understand the form as well as "objectivebruce" does, but I always thought columns should entertain or offer a relevant opinion on something topical, if not both. The column in question met that description only in that it was entertaining, and only Rice's quotes fit that bill.

Also, I would like to marry jenny.

The Chief said...

Troy, we couldn't agree more.

morrissey mole said...

Unlike the Globe, we correct mistakes here in these blog comment post areas, so here is a big one:

Correction: At 9:28 am this morning, objectivebruce posted a message claiming the author of this site found 9 CHB corrections over 18 years. The correct number was 14 corrections, all but one of which are from the past 6 years."

The Chief said...


"This is hardly exhaustive, of course. And it does not reflect countless other errors that the Globe has simply chosen not to publicly fix."

Also, I did look up the list of corrections to Bob Ryan's columns and located eight, not including Ryan's own mea cupla column for omitting the Celtics from a list of 20th century pro sports dynasties.

jenny said...

See, troy, that's what I meant in my correction of his January 26 column where I thought Theo should have been paid for the column instead of CHB. It was all his quotes anyway.

Give Jim Rice the check, Dan. You were basically a tape recorder.

And sorry, troy, I'm planning on waiting for marriage at least until I'm old enough to legally drink :-)

objectivebruce said...

I realize that reading is a challenge for many of you, but what I said was

"9 published corrections to reporting errors in 18 years"

Morrissey Mole apparently failed to allow his eyes to adjust to the light and saw "because of a reporting error" in five items in which it did not appear.

Now if you actually READ this blogger's list, you will that there were, in fact, find nine (9) instances in which the correction was attributed to a reporting error.

Please try not to be so smug when dealing with your betters.

As for the Rice piece, I will simply point out that, despite the shrill braying favored by bloggers and the ESPN generation, the best columns include original reporting. And for all that has been said the past few years about Rice, The Hall and alleged grudges by BBWA member, this was the first time we got a sense for what Rice thinks about it, but I would expect the juvenile jealousy expressed hereabouts to fail to recognize it.

Anonymous said...

By calling someone else "smug" while referring to himself as a "better," OB just unwittingly displayed the arrogant internal attitude that has led to the Globe's freefall from one of the nation's best papers to total laughingstock.

objectivebruce said...

Laughingstock? Hardly. Many of the comments I read here are reminiscent of the vile invective of the days of Boston school desegregation. I thought Louise Day Hicks and John Kerrigan and the "blame-the-Globe-for-everything
I-don't-like" days were long gone. Apparently Louise and Kerrigan have been reincarnated in the form of the self-appointed, knee-jerk media "critics" prone to looking at one columnist's every published word with no other objective than to find some way to attack it. Fair criticism is one thing, puerile spit-back rants are another.

Anonymous said...

With Louisa Day Hicks as his frame of reference, OB has got to be the CHB, or one of several people on the desk.

But sorry, OB, when your paper is run by out of town types that are obssessed with churning a huge profit over quality, and tons of reporters are shown the door, and your paper spins out one bad product after another to promote the "brand" at the expense of the paper itself, and the paper serves as a mouthpiece for Red Sox PR, and you fire your janitors at the same time your publisher gets a $1.5M raise, and you close your Washington bureau and your Baghdad operation during a war, and you have story placement like that day last spring where you had a story about a death of a dog on page A1 and the death of an African-American teenager on page B6, and you haven't broken a single piece of news with any sort of major impact in years and keep turning out fluff instead, then, yes, your paper is a laughingstock.

Anonymous said...

I took joy in pointing out Shank's error about Chelios as the mistake formed the basis of a snide comment about how silly it was to have Chelios throw out a first pitch at a Cubs-Red Sox game. That petty little comment blew up in Shank's face and only highlighted what an ignorant twit he is.