GetReligion contributor Sarah Pulliam used to be my favorite Wheaton College graduate. My new favorite graduate is horror film director Wes Craven. I had no idea he'd gone to the school until I read this Associated Press story about journalist Ann Curry's embarrassing mistake giving a commencement address last weekend:
BOSTON -- When "Today" show news anchor Ann Curry delivered the commencement speech at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, she named a list of distinguished alumni, including the Rev. Billy Graham, Wes Craven and Dennis Hastert.
The problem is the evangelist, the horror movie director and the former U.S. House Speaker all attended the Wheaton College in Illinois, not the one in Massachusetts.
The NBC newswoman on Monday sent an apology letter to the Massachusetts school's president, Ron Crutcher, and the college community.
"I am mortified by my mistake," she wrote, "and can only hope the purity of my motive, to find a way to connect with the graduates and encourage them to a life of service, will allow you to forgive me."
Even though most Wheaton graduates who arrive in DC are probably from the Illinois institution, they encounter plenty of confusion about which college they attended.
I'm sure there are many media lessons to be gleaned from her flub but I'm a sucker for a good apology and I think hers -- you can read her full letter here at the Boston Globe -- should be taken at face value.
The other embarrassing mistake committed by a broadcast journalist this past week came from one Keith Olbermann. He's the once-popular MSNBC cabler who ends every segment he does on Sarah Palin (and he does many, of course) with the phrase "That woman is an idiot." Anyway, here's the flub;
And there is a House Tea Party candidate who claims he discovered the Ark of the Covenant . . . in Arizona.
Hope all the animals had their papers with them!
I don't know (or want to know!) much about the kooky candidate in question but you can watch the segment here. And you can watch that scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark where all the Nazis' faces melt here. But no matter how much study you do on the Ark of the Covenant, you will not find any animals. I know it's confusing because they both have the word "Ark" in them, but Noah's Ark is not the same ark as the Ark of the Covenant. Otherwise, great joke.
All journalists make mistakes. When it happens, it's probably best to acknowledge the error, redouble our efforts and move on.