The New York Post, July 6, 2004 (AP)

As you may know by now, New Yorkers awoke this morning to find newsstands awash in the New York Post, whose entire front page was devoted to this headline:

KERRY’S CHOICE
Dem picks
Gephardt as
VP candidate

We know you’ll be looking to Campaign Desk to get to the bottom of the Post’s astounding snafu (350K JPG, courtesy of Campaign Desk reader Sid the Fish). We’ve been working the phones, but so far the folks at the Post have been passing the buck faster than an Olympic relay team — one reporter referred us to the paper’s city desk, which referred us to a PR rep, who referred us to another PR rep, and so forth. Now at last we have a statement from the paper, in the person of flack Ashley Schiff:

The New York Post incorrectly reported on the front page today that John Kerry has selected Dick Gephardt as his running mate. The paper’s editor-in-chief Col Allan said he made the decision after the Post received information it believed to be correct.

“We unreservedly apologize to our readers for the mistake,” Mr. Allan said.

As soon as we have the real story, we’ll bring it to you. Until then, to borrow Matt Drudge’s favorite code word for having no idea what’s going on:

Developing.

Brian Montopoli

Update, 1:25 p.m.: We just spoke to Gregg Birnbaum, the Post’s political editor. We said we’d spoken to the PR people, and began telling him we were looking for more detailed information.

“Nope” he said. “Not from me. Have a nice day.” Then he hung up.

We suspect we’re already having a nicer day than Birnbaum.

Brian Montopoli is a writer at CJR Daily.