Another day, another “Editor’s Note” in the New York Times prompted by rushed ClintonSenateSeatStakes (Caroline Kennedy) coverage. On December 10, there was this (the Times failed to call and verify that a certain phone call actually occurred). Today, we have this (another forgotten verification phone call):

Earlier this morning, we posted a letter that carried the name of Bertrand Delanoë, the mayor of Paris, sharply criticizing Caroline Kennedy.


This letter was a fake. It should not have been published…

This letter, like most Letters to the Editor these days, arrived by email. It is Times procedure to verify the authenticity of every letter. In this case, our staff sent an edited version of the letter to the sender of the email and did not hear back. At that point, we should have contacted Mr. Delanoë’s office to verify that he had, in fact, written to us.

We did not do that…

But it was just so juicy (“In my opinion she has no qualification whatsoever to bid for Senator Clinton’s seat…”) and so French-sounding (“Can we speak of American decline?”)

 

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.