Saturday, September 17, 2005
Some are more equal than others: It's official. If you're a columnist for The New York Times you can say that up is down, black is white or that attempting a filibuster is the same thing as successfully mounting a filibuster. [Or, if you prefer, the difference between me wanting to date Cyndi Thomson, and actually dating Cyndi Thomson.]
In a surprising development, New York Times public editor Byron Calame has published a note on his Web Journal indicating that the columnist corrections policy apparently doesn't apply to Prof. Paul Krugman.
An Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times who makes an error "is expected to promptly correct it in the column." That's the established policy of Gail Collins, editor of the editorial page. Her written policy encourages "a uniform approach, with the correction made at the bottom of the piece."
Two weeks have passed since my previous post spelled out the errors made by columnist Paul Krugman in writing about news media recounts of the 2000 Florida vote for president. Mr. Krugman still hasn't been required to comply with the policy by publishing a formal correction. Ms. Collins hasn't offered any explanation.
Calame goes on to explain the practical effect that this will have: people doing research or going through databases will find Krugman's errors, but not his corrections.
I must confess, over the past couple of weeks, I've been under the impression that Calame wasn't doing his job -- not "not doing his job the way I would do it," but "not doing his job at all."
I was wrong. Calame's doing his job. Editorial Page Editor Gail Collins isn't doing hers.
Now that Calame has made this public, maybe something will happen.
I'm thinking that Calame will be fired.