Friday, May 6, 2011

Slate Corrections scorecard

In the May 4 "Politics," John Dickerson incorrectly described President Bush's 2004 poll numbers as being from 2003.
Corrections guy gets 12/10 on the Doofometer cuz the MISTAKE HASN'T BEEN CORRECTED:
In the text: "In December 2003, Americans were concerned about the economy but their mood was improving.*"
At the bottom of the page: "Correction, May 5, 2011: Originally this article incorrectly stated that the Bush poll numbers were from December 2003. (Return to the corrected sentence.)"
Dickerson gets a 6/10. I don't think it changes much to his story, but since the whole point is about comparing poll numbers for different presidents at different times, he needed to be careful.

In the May 4 "Press Box," Jack Shafer misspelled the last name of Neda Salehi Agha Soltan.
Doofometer: 1/10. Weird name, it's OK to get it wrong.

In the May 3 "Jurisprudence," Simon Lazarus incorrectly referred to Rep. Paul Ryan's budget resolution, passed by the House in April. All such references should have been to Ryan's "Roadmap for America's Future," an earlier proposal that is more detailed than the budget resolution.
Doofometer: 9/10. I can see the mistake, but the entire article was about this document. Do you not know what document you were analyzing???

In a May 3 "XX Factor" post, K.J. Dell'Antonia misspelled the name of Atlanta law firm King & Spalding.
Doofometer: 4/10. I would give this a lower score, but how hard is it to spell "King & Spalding"? What did she write: Spaulding?

In the May 2 "Explainer," Brian Palmer incorrectly identified Yuri Andropov as Soviet premier in 1970. In fact, he was head of the KGB at that time, and did not become general secretary of the Communist Party until 1982.
Doofometer: 5/10. I would think that the beary presence of Brezhnev would have burned itself into ones member over the period 1964 to 1982 (then again, for a person my age, Brezhnev was the about the only premier we ever knew).

In the May 2 "Politics," John Dickerson described Osama Bin Laden's compound as being "35 minutes outside Islamabad." It's 35 miles from the city but would require a considerably lengthier trip.
Doofometer: 7/10. There was another error, where he said it was 90 miles from Islamabad. I give this a high score because "15 minutes from" means something when you say "by car" and its "from Slate HQ in Washington". It could be 15 minutes but a fast car, or a slow helicopter, or by extreme pogosticking...

In the April 29, "Science," Brian Palmer noted that, in the development of written communication, individual characters eventually came to stand in for "letters" rather than syllables. To be more precise, individual characters came to stand in for the sounds with which modern speakers identify letters.
Doofometer: 2/10. We knew what he meant.

In an April 27 "XX Factor" post, K.J. Dell'Antonia misspelled the first name of Garry Trudeau.
Doofometer: 4/10. A minor error, but the guy's name is in your magazine every single day.

In an April 26 "XX Factor" post, Jessica Grose misidentified the Beastie Boys album Licensed To Ill as License To Ill.
Doofometer: 1/10. Who wouldn't make this mistake?

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