Home / Tag: Mea culpa Monday
07.22.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Joe Uchill
If you have never heard of Mainichi Shimbun, you are (a) unaware that the Japanese Newspaper is the fourth largest in the world and (b) not a big fan of stories about odd Japanese sex practices. The English site, called the Mainichi Daily News, was until recently the home of WaiWai, the western world’s primary news source for stories about the hippest new trends in prostitution, restaurants that...
06.30.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Joe Uchill
To say that the suicide of model Ruslana Korshunova has been sensationalized might be an understatement. Like soldiers on the battlefield, the model was given a posthumous field promotion to “supermodel” by many headlines. But while upping Korshunova’s status was a very complementary way to sexy up a cover story, what happened last night on TV was not. If you were to guess whose television n...
06.03.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Joe Uchill
Mea culpa Monday’s sibling, Tua culpa Tuesday tracks the best accusation of the media that doesn’t result in a correction. Who is the most not JT LeRoy? The JT LeRoy saga was a high-brow version of the James Frey scandal. Both unfolded within days of each-other; while most of America mourned having A Million Little Pieces exposed as a fake memoir, the intelligentsia had their wake for their ...
05.20.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Joe Uchill
Mea Culpa Mondays was started as a weekly feature to track the most interesting media apologies. It dates back to the first, now defunct, Shepherd Express website – the original posts are lost to the internet and confined on my hard drive. So trust me when I say that this is the first time in the Mea Culpa history with two consecutive Tua Culpa Tuesdays. Now more than ever before, other people are at fault. This lession was taken to the logical extreme by Memphis Flyer editor Bruce VanWyngarden, NBC News and the president last week when each found ways to turn being accused of blame into being the victim. For no one could becoming a victim be more complicated than Bruce VanWyngarden. After a Monday television report, the entire city of Memphis took offense to columnist John Branston's use of  “HNIC” to discuss the search for a new school principal. Coined by Joe Clark, the principal immortalized in Lean on Me, the unique term is the most ethnically colorful way of acronyming the “Highest [black dude] In Charge.” Like policing the school baseball bat in hand or chaining student’s to desks, HNIC was a part of Clark’s no-nonsense, lawman persona. So when the mayor referred to the need for a Joe Clark like principal, Branston figured the new recruit would enjoy Clark’s nickname. Naturally. “I apologize to those who were offended by the use of the term in John's column,” VanWyngarden wrote in an online editor’s note. “It was not intended as a racial slur but as a cultural reference to a very real and important decision facing our school board.” “Thanks primarily to a rather sensationalistic story on WREG Channel 3, John Branston's City Beat column from this week's Flyer seems to be generating some controversy,” it began. “…Whether that was an error in judgment or insensitive is open to debate.” To be fair, WREG is notorious for sensationalizing the entire NIC system of taxonomy. They even complained about the Lowest NIC.

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04.29.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Joe Uchill
Bad news for Katie Couric last week, when her CBS Evening News set a record for the lowest weekly ratings by a network newscast recorded under the current system of ratings. It sounds a lot worst than it is – largely because this week, she has set that record once again. Couric's new lows, released today, show that only 5.34 million viewers tuned in last week. To put that in perspective, that m...
04.14.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Joe Uchill
If you didn’t do research on a country you didn’t visit, you are as qualified to write travel guides for Lonely Planet as presumably-former staffer Thomas Kohnstamm. Kohnstamm’s upcoming book Do Travel Writer’s Go To Hell acknowledges his career of plagiarizing other sources, fabricating information, accepting gifts in violation of policy and (in one case) not visiting the country while wr...
04.07.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Joe Uchill
Absolut Vodka came under fire last week for an advertisement run in magazines south of the border claiming that in an Absolut World, John McCain lives in Mexico.                    Today, the creator of the now defunct campaign apologized for the scandal, but not for the action. Sure, it’s a shame that Lou Dobbs types were upset that the southern states were annexed by their...
03.31.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Joe Uchill
With the coming of April Fools, newspapers and magazines traditionally incorporate pranks into their pages as a way of showing their readers: (1) that the newspaper has a sense of humor and (2) that paying the cover price was an absolute waste of money. This adds new depths to the erroneous facts, phrases and photos that already appear in the newspaper. This week, while funny fake things will skat...
03.09.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Joe Uchill
It may be the longest newspaper correction you’ll ever see. Last week, The Las Vegas Sun devoted 535 words, nine full paragraphs explaining six distinct ways the article manipulated statistics, misreported facts, and improperly generated sources to show that the community of Summerlin was, at least partially, racist, disillusioned about their own safety, and cake-takingly violent. 535 words, ...
03.03.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Joe Uchill
Never say copy editors don’t have a sense of humor. They’re so funny that one editor has been fired and another suspended after a joke in California’s North County Times went haywire. The two editors altered one word in an AP story about a city hall plea to tighten pet neutering laws, assuming that the change would be caught, corrected pre-press, and hilarity would ensue. But ...

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