Posts tagged “fact checking”

Loss of context

From What I’ve Learned: Vint Cerf (“creator of the Internet”) in the latest Esquire magazine (italics mine)

There was a first “Oh, no!” moment. That was the first time I saw spam pop up. It could have been as early as ’79. A digital-equipment corporation sent a note around announcing a job opening, and we all blew up, saying, This is not for advertising! This is for serious work!

(Update: link to article here)

It’s not A digital-equipment corporation (and really, who speaks like that?) It’s Digital Equipment Corporation, aka DEC, aka Digital.

One letter changes the details of the story somewhat (I suppose it’s not crucial to know who sent this first spam), enough to make it clear that the copy editor had no context about the era in technology and business that Cerf was talking about.

I’m reminded of the challenges with interviews transcribed using an overseas service:

Male: It keeps searching and then it is–

Female: So what did it come up with?

Male: Well, I did come up with tickets.

Female: Get out, you are kidding me. I should go, where is this at? In Denver?

Male: Denver, yeah. In the Betsey Center.

Female: Okay, well try and find me some tickets in Tampa.

I’m pretty sure the Betsey Center is actually The Pepsi Center.

You’ve Got The Teeth Of The Hydra Upon You

An article on the recent Aryan Brotherhood convictions quotes Laurie Levenson, a professor at Loyola Law School/former federal prosecutor.”But the truth is, this (gang) is like a hydra – you cut off a limb and it’s going to grow back,” she said. “These guys have been around a long time and they’re going to get new leaders.”

But the Hydra had many heads, not many limbs. It was difficult/impossible to kill because the heads would grow back. That really breaks her metaphor! I’m sure the journalist just went with the quote anyway, as did the editor. Too bad.

Nifty little typo at Salon

Salon com 8 19 2005 6 34 59 PM.jpg
click to enlarge

The caption reads Alan Ball, with Peter Krause as Casey Fisher, in the background. Actually, Peter plays Nate Fisher on Six Feet Under and he played Casey McCall on Sports Night. Strange.

Sloppy Chronicle

Today the SF Chronicle printed an August 11th essay by Cindy Sheehan. The text of the column is not available on their website, but the editor’s note tells us that the column appeared originally in Arianna Huffington’s In fact, it appeared on The Chronicle is sending its readers to a parody-site. Umm, oops.

Update: I sent in an irked correction

Today, page B5 – Cindy Sheehan essay – you list instead of – since no one bothered to CHECK that – you actually are sending people to a parody site.
Lame job, guys.

and got back

Subject: Thanks for alerting us to huffingpost error

The correct site, as I am sure you know, is
The introduction was written in haste late Friday and, as you noted, not double-checked. Thanks for alerting us to the parody site.

So much for fact checking

So much for fact checking. A review from the SF Chron

CD REVIEWS: “In a time of austerity in the music business, ‘Weird Tales of the Ramones‘ is a behemoth, containing 85 songs on three CDs and every single video the band filmed from 1981 to their retirement in 1996. In this unsentimental but nonetheless fascinating document of rock endurance, fans visually and audibly experience the Ramones in their sullen glory, all deadpan pasty faces, ripped skin-tight jeans and off-the-rack leather jackets. They go from snarling through three-minute blasts of rage and irony on songs like ‘Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue,’ ‘Cretin Hop’ and ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ to having most of their raw edges rubbed down as they become the benign cartoonish elder punk statesmen of their later years, wading through a myriad of age-related songs like ‘When I Was Young,’ Tom Waits’ far too revealing ‘I Don’t Wanna Grow Up’ and the painfully brilliant ‘I Want To Live,’ from Joey Ramone’s posthumously released solo album. This is a fascinating but hardly weird tale, unless you consider it weird how undervalued these pre-eminent architects of the American punk juggernaut were during their lifetime.

— Jaan Uhelszki.

But I Want To Live isn’t from Don’t Worry About Me (the above-referenced posthumous Joey album), it’s from 1987’s Halfway to Sanity (and it seems to be called I Wanna Live, in fact).

How hard would it be to get that right? I haven’t seen the new box set, but don’t you imagine it includes liner notes that indicate where the songs were from?



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