The Boy Breaking News Alert Who Cried Wolf

Dear New York Times: Do you really—really, in your heart of hearts—think that the following is an appropriate use of your “Breaking News Alert” feature?

Breaking News Alert
The New York Times
Friday, July 24, 2009 — 3:03 PM ET

Obama Says He Regrets His Language on Gates Arrest

President Obama said Friday that he “could have calibrated” his words more carefully in the racially-charged controversy over the arrest of a Harvard professor, making a surprise appearance at the daily White House briefing to try and cool the tensions surrounding the case.

Mr. Obama said he had talked to the arresting officer and hoped the case could become “a teachable moment” to be used to improve relations between minorities and police officers.

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.