After publishing his third correction on the Web, Krugman asked Collins, she wrote, "if he could refrain from revisiting the subject yet again in print. I agreed, feeling we had reached the point of cruelty to readers. But I was wrong. The correction should have run in the same newspaper where the original error and all its little offspring had appeared."What was the cruelty we were spared? Today's correction:
Collins also announced that the paper would henceforth be running regular corrections and "for the record" explanations under the editorials. Today she published several in the "for the record" category, of the minor variety.
"In describing the results of the ballot study by the group led by The Miami Herald in his column of Aug. 26, Paul Krugman relied on the Herald report, which listed only three hypothetical statewide recounts, two of which went to Al Gore. There was, however, a fourth recount, which would have gone to George W. Bush. In this case, the two stricter-standard recounts went to Mr. Bush. A later study, by a group that included The New York Times, used two methods to count ballots: relying on the judgment of a majority of those examining each ballot, or requiring unanimity. Mr. Gore lost one hypothetical recount on the unanimity basis."Obviously, this is a tremendously important matter to be precise about. There are many people walking around today who believe the recount, if it had continued, would have given the election to Gore. Distorted perceptions about the media recount have long served the interests of those who want to portray Bush's presidency as illegitimate. The notion that getting the correction right was a matter of bugging people with too many picky things from the past, a "cruelty" that readers should be spared? The only people who can believe that, I think, are those who now, as then, want to make the Bush presidency look illegitimate.