It’s possible that Kinsley has gotten a handle on his correction affliction. After all, he hadn’t written about corrections in a while. I’ll also give him credit for managing to kick his old habit of mixing Bill Gates references and corrections. He did so in his introduction of Slate’s new corrections policy, and he went there again to correct an error in the “SLATE 60”:
Our “SLATE 60” list of America’s biggest contributors to charity in 1996 originally stated that Bill Gates gave $15 to Harvard this year. The correct amount is $15 million. The editor, Washington editor, New York editor, deputy editor, and associate editors all wish to make clear that they had nothing to do with this grotesque error. It is entirely the fault of SLATE’s four young and defenseless editorial assistants, each of whom will be dealt with in the way we’re sure Mr. Gates would wish.
Clearly, this is a man that makes the most of every correction. Much like the journalists at the Times, however, his errors tend to be rather mundane. In light of his complaints about the pedantic puffery of Times corrections, I hereby offer a collection of Mr. Kinsley’s Most Boring But Essential Slate Corrections. I’ll let you judge if this is a man who can turn up his nose at a “trivial” correction:
In his July 14 “Readme” column, Michael Kinsley mistakenly attributed the question, “Who are you going to believe—us or your own two eyes?” to Groucho Marx. In fact, Chico asked it in Duck Soup.
In a July 23 article about British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s speech before the U.S. Congress, Michael Kinsley incorrectly identified Keir Hardie as the British Labor Party’s first prime minister. Hardie was the first leader of the Labor Party.
In an Oct. 20 “Read Me” column, Michael Kinsley misspelled Monica Lewinsky’s last name.
In the Feb. 2 “ReadMe,” Michael Kinsley said that when Reagan left office, taxes were $999 billion. The correct number is $991 billion.
In the Oct. 2 “Readme” column, Michael Kinsley originally misstated the hypothetical question Gen. Wesley Clark refused to answer in the Sept. 25 debate. The question asked if he would approve President Bush’s request for $87 billion to fund operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, not whether he would have supported the Iraq war resolution if he had been in the Senate.
The Feb. 2 “Readme” column by Michael Kinsley originally included information about taxes being a higher share of the economy at the end of the Reagan administration than at the end of the Clinton administration, which was incorrect. That sentence was eliminated.
Riveting stuff, I know. But necessary. So too was this Slate correction from last summer:
In a June 27 “Other Magazines,” Morgan Smith misspelled Michael Kinsley’s last name.
I doubt he’d suggest that error didn’t deserve a correction. So, Kinsley, is that regret I smell on your breath?
Correction of the Week
“The final sentence of an obituary about Bernie Feldman on Page B3 on Thursday should have read: If people would like to honor his memory, they can sign a petition to send George Bush and Dick Cheney to jail, his son said.” – Santa Cruz Sentinel