Web helps MSNBC get the story--wrong

Early this morning, MSNBC's lead story was that Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards was suspending his campaign because his wife's cancer had returned.

There was only one problem with the story--Edwards was not, in fact, suspending his campaign. At a noontime (EDT) press conference, Edwards vowed the campaign would press on, despite his wife's health issues.

MSNBC's story followed one on Politico.com, a political Web site, which had cited an anonymous Edwards friend as the source.

Politico.com, for its part, has a new story on its site that notes that Edwards campaign is moving forward. And it minces no words about its mistake.

In the second paragraph, the story says "Politico.com incorrectly reported earlier in the day that Edwards planned to suspend his campaign because of his wifeÂ’s illness." The sentence leads to a mea culpa blog explaining how it got things wrong.

MSNBC also quickly changed things, subbing the screaming headline "carrying on" for its earlier headline, which I believe was "suspended."

The story also notes in paragraph three that MSNBC had "incorrectly reported" that Edwards was suspending the campaign, based on the Politico.com report.

Reuters also reported that Edwards would suspend the campaign, citing a source. However, in its follow-up story, Reuters doesn't exactly own up to its mistake.

"Some Democrats said Edwards had indicated he would suspend campaign activities while the couple dealt with the cancer but Edwards said he intended to continue his efforts and would head out on a campaign trip on Friday," Reuters said in its follow-up article.

Kudos to MSNBC and Politico.com. They got it wrong, but (to paraphrase John Kerry) at least they got it right after they got it wrong.

Tags:
Tech Culture
About the author

    During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.

     

    Join the discussion

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Show Comments Hide Comments