The Slatest

New York Times Issues Correction to Its Correction About Mistakenly Corrected Story

Live shot of the Times copy desk.

Gus Pasquerella/Public domain/via Wikipedia

OK, so:

1. Thursday morning libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson went on MSNBC and responded to a question about Aleppo, Syria, by saying he didn’t know what Aleppo was.

2. The New York Times ran a story about Johnson’s gaffe that itself misidentified Aleppo as the “de facto capital of the Islamic State.” (The actual de facto capital of the Islamic State is Raqqa.)

3. The Times then revised its story to identify Aleppo as an “ISIS stronghold.” Unfortunately, this is also incorrect: Aleppo is the site of fighting between Syrian government forces and non-ISIS rebel groups. ISIS does not have a significant presence in the city.

4. The Times then, finally, revised its story to describe Aleppo simply as “wartorn,” which is accurate. They added a correction at the bottom of the article.

Screenshot/New York Times

Got it? That brings us to about an hour ago, when reporter Jenan Moussa noticed that the Times had added a mistake to its correction.

This has been fixed, creating the dreaded double correction:

Screenshot/New York Times

Incidentally, the third descriptor—“wartorn Syrian city”—was initially missing a hyphen. It’s since been changed to “war-torn Syrian city.”

Someone at Times HQ is definitely going to need a strong drink at about 5:01 p.m. today. Meanwhile, we are approaching a near 100 percent certainty that in the next 24 hours I personally am going to make a mistake that requires an embarrassing correction.