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Doug Floyd: “I Sabotaged You”

re: Fourth of July error in editorial and subhead that gave the country’s age as 130 rather than 230. The editorial was reprinted today with the correct information here. Doug sent the following note to the Editorial Board this morning, with permission to share it.

It appears I sabotaged you before leaving the office last Friday. You have my sincere and chastened apologies for the Fourth of July error that caused major inconvenience and embarrassment for you. A holiday-shortened week with a short staff is no time to have to deal with an unnecessary distraction. Gary Graham’s more-than-generous post in Ask the Editors did not escape my notice. Folks, nobody read that editorial more times than I did. Nobody had more opportunities to catch the mistake than I did. And, of course, nobody hat more chances to avoid making it in the first place than I did. And, as Steve noted in the daily briefing, gaffes like this only take away from whatever merit the editorial had in the first place. There simply was no excuse for my multiple failures in that regard and I want everyone to know that I take it seriously. I could go on, as you know, but I’ll spare you.

Doug Floyd
SR Opinion Page Editor


DFO: Frankly, all journalists are susceptible to a major error under the crush of deadlines. Doug, an excellent editor and superb wordsmith, got nailed here, in a perfect storm that enabled this error to slide through several other eyes. Managing Editor Gary Graham issued an apology in News Is A Conversation here. Some people actually believe we did this on purpose. All this proves is that we’re all human, including a superb journalist like Doug.


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D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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