Why Won’t Markey Agree to Debates He’s Already Agreed to, Wonders Boston Herald

Why doesn’t our local tabloid tell readers when they’ve erred?


The casual Boston Herald reader might be under the impression that the newspaper never makes mistakes—that’s thanks to the sneaky way the tabloid cleans up its tracks, as evidenced in a bit of obvious editing post-publication this morning. Joe Battenfeld and Hillary Chabot’s “Truth Squad” column featured on Monday’s cover hits Ed Markey for allegedly remaining inconspicuous throughout the Senate campaign and begins:

If you haven’t been paying much attention to U.S. Rep. Edward J. Markey’s Senate campaign, that’s just fine with Markey.

Debates? He hasn’t agreed to any against GOP opponent Gabriel Gomez.

What an odd thing to say in a front page story published two days after Markey agreed to a June 5 debate sponsored by WBZ and the Boston Globe. The error appeared in today’s print edition:


And it also appeared online. And the error appears in a tweet sent out by the Boston Herald just hours ago (presuming they meant “debates and not “ebates”…)

But then, just a short while ago, we visited the cover story again and found this:

If you haven’t been paying much attention to U.S. Rep. Edward J. Markey’s Senate campaign, that’s just fine with Markey.

Debates? He’s only agreed to one so far against GOP opponent Gabriel Gomez, according to the Markey campaign.

It’s admirable that they’d correct an outdated factual error but not so admirable that they’d make the change without telling readers that the story has been updated from its original version or posting a correction. (They don’t. Nor does the Twitter feed acknowledge its error.)

We’d guess the original mistake is attributable to the fact that the details of the first debate weren’t really nailed down until Sunday, and the column was probably written and edited previous to that. (Hey, journalists get to take a day of rest, too!) The thrust of their Markey criticism isn’t really undermined by the agreement to a debate. It was just one point of evidence among others. Still, it’d be a nice service to readers to note that the information the paper published wasn’t technically true at the time of publication and so has been changed. But then, why post your own corrections when it’s so much more fun to just crow about those that run in the Boston Globe.

  • agingcynic

    Considering the source, this is hilarious.

  • FrancisMcManus

    What’s hilarious, misinforming the public and not being accountable for it?

    Journalism used to have standards and this issue was a basic principle. You stand by what you said by explicitly claiming it was wrong and assert what you now believe to be true. It doesn’t matter which publication you’re referring to.