Nov 9, 2011, 12:15 PM EST
As anyone who has written for the New York Times can testify, the editors there have a special variety of journalism OCD that is both terrible and breathtaking to behold. They are an entirely new species of human dedicated to wringing all the joy and character out of the written word and reducing it to Ebenezer Scrooge’s parchment balance sheet. Or if you prefer, picture their editors as the goblins at Gringotts Bank. That’s why it’s so amazing that they would let something like this slip through.
In Maureen Dowd’s NY Times column on the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal on Tuesday, both the headline and a mention in the copy referred to “Penn State” as “Penn.” The headline is pictured above. And the last graph of her column reads:
“I can only hope that by the time Anthony’s parents work up their nerve to have what they call “the conversation” with him about his fallen idol, St. Joe and the other Penn scoundrels will have been ignominiously cast out of what turns out to be a not-so-Happy Valley.”
Penn and Penn State are, of course, two entirely different establishments. The former is the University of Pennsylvania, a private school located in Philadelphia. The latter is The Pennsylvania State University, a public school in University Park, about three hours away. Penn students and alumni were quick to point this out today. From the Penn blog Under the Button:
Homegirl is trashing our reputation! The mistake has been corrected on the Times’ website, but seriously, world, stop confusing us with the brouhaha at Penn State. Maureen Dowd, if you’re reading this, you should apologize to our entire University immediately. Then come give an awesome talk on campus to make up for it.
And as the Atlantic Wire points out, both the Contra Costa Times (Northern Calif.) and the Daily Breeze (Los Angeles) made the same headline mistake. As of this writing, the CCTimes’ headline is still uncorrected.
The Dowd column has been corrected online.
Students: scandal is at Penn State, not Penn [NBC Sports]
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