The New York Times found itself in a rather embarrassing position today after publishing what it thought was an email from the mayor of Paris criticizing the emerging senatorial candidacy of Caroline Kennedy.
Here’s part of the original email, which is still online for reasons of perpetual hilarity and snark bait:
As mayor of Paris, I find Caroline Kennedy’s bid for the seat of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton both surprising and not very democratic, to say the least. What title has Ms. Kennedy to pretend to Hillary Clinton’s seat? We French can only see a dynastic move of the vanishing Kennedy clan in the very country of the Bill of Rights. It is both surprising and appalling.
Of course the email turned out to be a fake. And the Times, in acknowledging the error, makes things so, so much better:
This letter, like most Letters to the Editor these days, arrived by email. It is Times procedure to verify the authenticity of every letter. In this case, our staff sent an edited version of the letter to the sender of the email and did not hear back. At that point, we should have contacted Mr. Delanoë’s office to verify that he had, in fact, written to us.
We did not do that. Without that verification, the letter should never have been printed.
As they say in France, “No shit, Sherlock.”
In other news, the editors of the New York Times regret the erroneous reporting contained in yesterday’s story titled “New ‘Miracle’ Drug Makezz You her Master in Thu Beddd!!!!!” The information contained in the article was sent to us in an email, and we should have been more diligent in verifying whether so-called “bargan Canadian RX!!!!” could really “make her moannn with plezzurrre at your mannhood!!!”
The Times regrets the error.
Kennedy, Seen From Paris [NYT]