From time to time, your GetReligionistas have enjoyed poking fun at the mainstream journalists who cannot, simply cannot, accept the fact that Focus on the Family czar James Dobson is not the Rev. James Dobson. At one point early on in the life of this weblog, the Rt. Rev. Douglas LeBlanc (not) recommended that the "style guardians" at what was then still Newsweek add an entry in their newsroom stylebook -- with orders for everyone to bookmark that sucker -- with the blunt heading "Dobson, James, Ph.D."
Alas, here we go again. And again.
This time, the New York Times has veered into error -- twice. Here's the official correction:
A brief article in The Caucus column last Wednesday about Newt Gingrich's conversion to Catholicism referred incorrectly to James Dobson, who had interviewed Mr. Gingrich, a former speaker of the House, on his radio program. Dr. Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, is an evangelical Christian leader who has a doctorate in child development; he is not a minister. The error also appeared in an article in The Times Magazine on March 1 about Mr. Gingrich.
However, I will say this, again, for the sake of that newspaper's many critics. No one handles corrections with more care than the editors at The Times. The powers that be in the Washington Post empire should learn from their example.
* While we are in nit-picky correction mode, what about that Associated Press report about the nerd-in-chief down under, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of Australia? Church historians (especially Lutherans) will want to sit down and not handle hot liquids while reading this one:
Rudd, 51, a career bureaucrat and diplomat before he entered politics, is renowned for his proficiency in speaking Chinese. He has named the obscure German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer as a personal hero.
The Daily Universe took the extraordinary step Monday of re-calling all its 18,500 copies from newsstands around campus and the community to reprint the entire 14-page issue due to a typographical error on the front page.
A spelling error appeared in a photo caption in which the word "apostle" was rendered as "apostate." In referring to activities at the General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints last weekend, the caption read in part, "Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostates and other general authorities raise their hands in a sustaining vote. ..."
Once the mistake was noticed, all available copies of the newspaper were removed from the racks and replaced with a sign directing students to view the paper online. ...
The misspelling was an unintentional error, said Rich Evans, editorial manager for The Daily Universe. "Our copy editor in charge of the front page, who was under deadline pressure, was using spell check on her page and had misspelled the word apostle," Evans said.
You can guess the rest of that story.