The Self-Awareness Corrections Department

An earlier version of this article, relying on information supplied by Natasha Gregson Wagner, inaccurately reported Ms. Gregson Wagner’s age.  She is 45, not 46.  She did not realize she was 45 until her husband read this article and alerted her to the mistake. 

                                                                                 The New York Times, March 19, 2016




An article in the Sports section last Sunday stated that retired NBA player Mel “Too Tall” Jones was the all-time leading scorer for the Providence Steamrollers, based on a taped interview.  Mr. Jones’ former teammate Ed “Skyscraper” Venuti points out in a letter to the editor that he, and not Mr. Jones, was the Steamrollers’ leading scorer, averaging 12.6 points per game, and that Mr. Jones is a congenital liar who “couldn’t throw it in the ocean.”  The Times regret its error.



A photograph in the International section on Friday, March 18th, incorrectly identified the man at the extreme left-hand side of the picture as Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination touched off the conflict that came to be known as World War I.  The man in question is actually Norman Zalkill, a certified public accountant in Newton, Massachusetts, according to a telephone call received by the Times’ London bureau from Zalkill’s wife, Miriam, which was verified by “caller ID.”  The Times stands corrected.


Franz, or Norm?


The second pharaoh of Egypt’s first dynasty was Hor-Aha, who reigned circa 3050 B.C.  A gossip column in last Friday’s Times reported that Hor-Aha attended an after-party in Bronxville along with several members of the Wu-Tang Clan, named “the best rap group ever” by Kris Ex of Rolling Stone magazine in 2013.  The account of the event was based on a phone call from a Times’ stringer, who mistook Wu-Tang Clan member “U-God” for Hor-Aha.  The Times apologizes for any embarrassment to Mr. Aha.


William Bendix–or Paul Krugman?


A Times op-ed column by Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman in last Sunday “Review” section suggested that Mr. Krugman does an excellent imitation of William Bendix, an American film, radio and television actor best-known for his portrayal of blue collar characters.  In an email to The Times Mr. Krugman’s second wife Robin Wells characterized Mr. Krugman’s impersonation as “merely adequate,” adding “He should stick to bird calls and card tricks.  He also can’t throw his voice.”  The Times stands by its mistake.


A young Paul Krugman and his ventriloquist dummy “Alan Greenspan.”


The International Date Line is an imaginary line of navigation on the surface of the Earth that runs from the north pole to the south pole and demarcates the change of one calendar day to the next.  It passes through the middle of the Pacific Ocean, roughly following the 180° line of longitude, and not through the bedroom of Todd Smirsky, a ninth-grader at Nellie Fox Junior High School in Danville, Illinois.  Smirsky’s mother Debra disputed her son’s account, saying it was a subterfuge he frequently used to avoid going to bed at 11:00 p.m.  The Times regrets any implication to the contrary.


“Todd–I said GO TO BED!”


Floyd Swire, an actuary with Modern Moosehead Indemnity Company, a Massachusetts-chartered life and casualty insurer, is boring, contrary to the account he gave to a Times’ reporter at the scene of a brutal carjacking on Melnea Cass Boulevard in Boston that was published in Monday’s Times.  Swire was taken into custody but released after police received a telephone call from his psychiatrist, Dr. Frasier Medfield, a specialist in delusions of grandeur.

In this instance, according to the Times’ ombudsman, the newspaper did not adhere to its usual high standards for verification of self-assessments by white-collar professionals claiming to be members of street gangs.

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