Testy Copy Editors

Curse you, technology!
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Author:  J Kaufman [ Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:52 am ]
Post subject:  Curse you, technology!

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd says she "screwed up" by misquoting the wife of New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio in her recent column and attributed the mistake to a "noisy" coffee shop.

"I screwed up. The coffee shop was so noisy, my tape recorder didn't pick up everything. I thought I had that one quote from her in my notes, but I garbled the end with a bit from her previous sentence," Dowd told POLITICO on Wednesday.

In her column, Dowd quoted de Blasio's wife Chirlane McCray as saying that mayoral challenger Christine Quinn was "not accessible ... She's not the kind of person I feel I can go up to and talk to about issues like taking care of children at a young age and paid sick leave."

Quinn used this slight to accuse the de Blasio campaign of faulting her for being a childless lesbian. In fact, audio of the full quote, which was subsequently released by de Blasio's campaign, shows that McCray's marks may have been far more tame. The Times has since issued a correction and updated Dowd's column.
Dowd sides with Quinn on this one, but remains apologetic.

"The substance is the same, but the quote should be exact," she told POLITICO. "We have the whole quote online now; we'll have the whole quote again corrected in the print edition tomorrow, I've apologized to the DeBlasio and Quinn campaigns and I am going to buy some kind of noise-cancelling microphone for my recorder."

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