"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Mote In Your Neighbor's Eye; The Beam In Your Own 

If you look at page 18 of the latest (May 15) edition of Newsweek, you will find this sentence:
[Harvard student Kaavya] Viswanathan has admitted that passages from [author Megan] McCafferty's "Sloppy Firsts" and "Second Helpings" were "inadvertently" included in "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life."

Note the quotes around the word "inadvertently," implying some doubt as to how "inadvertent" the error really was. Now, then - turn four pages to page 22, and look at the "Editor's Note" at the end of the letters section (which, oddly enough, does not appear to be online):
In our cover story on the Duke lacrosse team, a description of lacrosse players closely tracked language in a story on the lacrosse culture that appeared in Slate, the online magazine. The language was inadvertently included in a reporter's file. Newsweek offers its apologies to Slate.

What, no "scare quotes" around the word "inadvertently" on this occasion? What gives?

 

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