The Most Epic News Correction Of 2010: Reporter's Disturbing Sexual Fetish Revealed As Untrue (Updated)

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Regret the error, much? In this case. Yes. God yes. Though it's already appeared elsewhere, it's worth noting: may the entirety of American Journalism beg for mercy on its fragile soul if a more epic correction than this is issued in 2010.

Via The Daily What, TBD News -- the hyperlocal news outlet the Washington Post generally wants to see die -- may find themselves cringing about this one for some time to come:

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Yes, you read that correctly. It wasn't even the only correction in the piece. The final correction -- for the moment -- reads as:

This blog post originally stated that one in three black men who have sex with me is HIV positive. In fact, the statistic applies to black men who have sex with men. Also, the photo caption incorrectly attributed Bayard Rustin's photo to "Wikipedia Commons." The correct title is "Wikimedia Commons."

Well, that...is a huge relief. For us, and for at least one likely very verklempt mother. Again, there is no -- no -- way this correction can be beat. And there is, and it happens, we will very likely report it, thus putting permanent lines in the faces of working copy editors for decades to come.

Elsewhere: Max Read at Gawker files his vote, also notes the work of Amanda Hess as otherwise "great."

Update: TBD News has now blogged about the correction in a post titled "The correction heard 'round the world," registering their hope that readers, in addition to laughing (though in a hopefully tasteful manner) "the commitment to accuracy that this demonstrates" on the part of TBD.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]

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