The story: Pam Bondi finds spotlight outside Supreme Court (miamiherald.com 3-28-12)
The mistake: “Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi emerged as a leading spokesman for Republican efforts to overturn the health care law.”
“Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi stood out in Washington this week as the unofficial spokeswoman for the 26 states that challenged the health care law to the Supreme Court.”
The Copy Vigilante says: It’s important to properly identify peoples’ gender. Here Ms. Bondi is called both a “spokesman” (this one appeared in a sub-head under the main headline, no less) and “spokeswoman”. Her name is Pamela. And from the picture published with this story she’s clearly a woman. NOT a “spokesman”!
The story: Will source of Whitney Houston’s cocaine be revealed? (msnbc.com 3-26-12)
The mistake: “She also referred to him as a “runner boy,” meaning he bought cocain and supplied it to Houston.”
The Copy Vigilante says: The word “cocaine” appears five times in this story, including the headline. It’s not a terribly difficult word to spell but msnbc.com missed the silent ‘e’ in the above sentence. Sigh, another misspelled word in a major news story. Ugly.
The story – Romney: It was Bush, not Obama, who averted second Depression (latimes.com 3-21-12)
The mistake: “From there, he pivoted to discuss the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, which Bush administration had adopted to ensure the U.S. banking system remained solvent…”
The Copy Vigilante says: The headline shocked me so I clicked on it to read further. The word “the” is pretty common and used a lot. And it’s also missing from this sentence! Tsk, tsk, LA Times. Once again, the old print guys should know better.
The story: Bernanke warns of possible European ‘contagion’ (msnbc.com 3-20-12)
The mistakes: “Although progress has been made, more needs to be done,” Bernanke says. He recommends strengthening the European banking and taking steps to boost the continents economy.
The Copy Vigilante says: Here are two bad copyediting mistakes in the same paragraph. Bernanke recommends strengthening the European banking what? If Europe is on the brink of taking down our economy I’d like to know what we could do to prevent that! And we’re not talking about plural “continents” but the possessive “continent’s” and it sure would be nice if the msnbc.com writer and editor understood that.
The story: Florida shooting renews debate over ‘stand your ground’ laws (cnn.com 3-20-12)
The mistake: “When you see any violence, it is always positive to go back and think about existing laws,” Scott said. “To review the impact and its consequences. ”
The Copy Vigilante says: Sometimes people need some space. If you eat too much food your pants will need space. But there shouldn’t be a space between a period and quotation marks!
The story: 10 TV Shows Canceled Faster Than ‘The Playboy Club’ (www.hollywoodreporter.com)
The mistake: “NBC’s 1960s drama saw a flurry of controversy even before it premiered this fall, with the Parents Television Council… Due to the PTCs campaign, several advertisers… ”
The Copy Vigilante says: Anything with “Playboy” in the title gets my attention. So I promptly clicked on this article to read it. And I promptly found an editing mistake in the second sentence that I read. The Hollywood Reporter got the first abbreviation with a possessive ‘s’ right, (NBC’s) but blew it with the second one and forgot the apostrophe mark. And it sure would be nice if they could get that Playboy show back on TV!
The story: How to enjoy your daily meat without killing yourself (msnbc.com 3-12-12)
The mistake: “A new study from researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health suggests consuming a higher amount of red meat can increase death risk from all causes and from cardiovascular disease and cancer.”
The Copy Vigilante says: Regarding the headline, the great Homer J. Simpson wouldn’t bother reading this article. He would just think, “Mmm, daily meat.” Ok, the headline did do its job though so I clicked on it to read further. I was astonished to read the line about eating a lot of red meat increasing my “death risk from all causes.” Did the report really claim that? Did msnbc.com check this? So if I eat a lot of red meat I could die from influenza, pneumonia and the Ebola virus? Or die by getting hit by a bus?
The story: Romney gains strength ahead of Super Tuesday (Chicago Tribune 3-5-12)
The mistakes: “Adding to his momentum in the race to become the challenger to Democratic PresidentBarack Obama in the November 6 election…”
“Cantor is from the Super Tuesday state of Virginia, where only Romney and libertarianRepresentative…”
“…Cantor said onNBC’s Meet the Press.”
“Republican SenatorTom Coburn…”
“Gingrich toldCNN’s State of the Union…”
The Copy Vigilante says: While it shouldn’t happen even once, only one time isn’t so bad. But when the same mistake happens FIVE times in the same article, someone is asleep at the wheel. Once again the old print guys should know better. It’s a really good idea to put a space between two separate, distinct words.
The story: Smoking pot tied to slacking off at work (msnbc.com 2-23-12)
The mistake: Smoking pot tied to slacking off at work
The Copy Vigilante says: Here’s another one for the DUH column! And the person who wrote this headline obviously does not smoke pot. If he or she did this person would realize pot smokers slack off at everything, not just work!
The story: 1 dead, 2 wounded in drive-by shooting on Far South Side (chicagotribune.com 2-27-12)
The mistake: 3 shot, 7 injured in West Pullman
3 shot, 7 injured in West Pullman (it’s in the caption below the video)
The Copy Vigilante says: Sometimes impaired people see double. Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble was a great band. There are double dates, double agents and kids play Double Dutch with a jump rope. BUT there’s no reason this caption should be doubled!