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Let’s talk about Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon’s errors

Betsy Rothstein
Betsy Rothstein
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      Betsy Rothstein

      Born and raised in Akron, Ohio, Betsy has been covering and torturing Washington media for the past three years. Early on she studied journalism in England, interviewing punk rockers in Piccadilly Square who stole her notebook and ripped it up. After graduating from Union College with a B.A. in Spanish, she began her journalism career in Cambridge, Mass., working for a Cuban newspaper where she conducted man-on-the-street interviews. She asked Latinos about their love lives. “Do Latinos make better lovers or what?” She soon moved out west to Denver, where she worked for two rival Hispanic weeklies for one year each. Next stop: J-school at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, where she earned a master’s degree. In the years following grad school she worked at the Boca Raton News as a business reporter followed by a brief stint as a press secretary for former Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.). She spent the next decade on Capitol Hill covering hard news, features and gossip for The Hill Newspaper. In 2009 she quit and moved to Portland, Ore. and wrote about the many long-haired men there who distinctly resemble Jesus. They weren’t all kind (one was fat and confrontational) but she got her story. Prior to joining TheDC, Betsy was the editor of FishbowlDC, a Washington media gossip blog.

Let’s see. How does that expression go? People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Apparently Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon has never heard of it. In his story about me in The New Republic late last week, one of Beaujon’s big contentions is that I make a lot of errors. He cited four examples, two of which weren’t actually errors at all.

Beaujon, unfortunately, just didn’t understand the jokes.

To his eggheaded mind, they were errors. To mine, they were the jokes I intended them to be. He did catch me redhanded with two real errors: one in which I miscopied a tweet and the other in which I ran a photo of The Guardian’s Spencer Ackerman for Slate’s Matt Yglesias. Like most bloggers working at a fast clip, I screwed those two up and quickly issued corrections.

In quoting another person on the supposed errors I make, he made – whoa! — an error, writing, “U.S. News and World Report gossip columnist Nikki Schwab tels me in an email.” Really, Andrew, she “tels” you? How cute. Speaking of Nikki Schwab, in January of this year she wrote that a Children’s Inaugural Concert was not happening when, in fact, it was. She also managed to really f—k things up when she wrote that a rapper named Drake had stopped by the Sprinkles cupcake store in Georgetown. Only, guess what? He was never there. Niiice.

In Beaujon’s TNR story alone (and this is the stuff of ironic gold), there were two corrections at the end. “Correction: A previous version of this story said that Joe Weisenthal was a fellow-panelist with Mike Riggs on Fox News’ “Red Eye”; he was not. The story also said that Slate was formerly owned by the Washington Post Co.; it is still owned by the company.”

Just out of morbid curiosity, I decided to peruse Beaujon’s posts over at the Poynter site. They were truly mind-numbing, but I managed to get through about three months worth of mostly boring stories. How many corrections did he have? That number is 13. Thirteen errors in three months, including another error he didn’t bother to correct and a few disclosures that don’t quite disclose everything.

I like to share. So below you’ll find Beaujon’s trail of errors. Enjoy!

Nov. 7, 2013

Correction: This post originally misspelled the Star-Telegram’s name in its headline.

Nov. 1, 2013

Correction: This post originally misspelled a writer’s first name: He is Jesse Hirsch, not Jessie.

Oct 31, 2013

Betsy Rothstein announced on Twitter Thursday morning that she was leaving FishbowlDC, the MediaBistro-owned site that covers media in Washington, D.C.

(No correction on Poynter, but it’s Mediabistro, not MediaBistro.)

Oct. 31, 2013

Correction: This post originally contained a math error: The Wall Street Journal’s total average circulation fell about .9 percent, not 4 percent.

Oct. 29, 2013

Correction: This post originally said the cost of the product varied by number of employees at an organization. It is calculated by number of licenses purchased.

Oct. 23, 2013

Correction: This post originally referred to Sprague with the wrong first name. He is Richard, not Robert.

Oct. 17, 2013

Correction: This piece originally said Talese said “there’s no Sulzberger, Halberstam to bust ass in Washington anymore.” He in fact said there was no Salisbury, Halberstam to bust ass in Washington anymore.

Oct. 17, 2013

This is not a correction, but rather a reminder of just how much of a douchebag Beaujon can be. Really, he’s a “professional”? So glad he reminded us.

Full disclosure: This professional blogger used to work at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia as a copy editor.

Oct. 8, 2013

Correction: This post originally said The International New York Times will launch Oct. 14; it will launch Oct. 15.

Oct. 2, 2013

Correction: This post originally attributed Justin Ellis’ story to Joshua Benton.

Sept. 20, 2013

Correction: This post originally misspelled Toner’s last name. [This would be SouthtownStar/Sun-Times reporter Casey Toner.]

Sept. 9, 2013

Correction: This post originally referred to the project as “Nieman’s.” Huey, Nisenholtz and Sagan produced the report for Harvard’s Shorenstein Center; Nieman gave it a home online.

On two occasions in the fall, Beaujon “discloses” that he used to work at a Robert Allbritton publication, TBD. In one instance he names TBD, in another, he does not. In neither instance did he mention that the publication no longer exists because it tanked during his tenure there.

Sept. 6, 2013

Correction: This post originally gave an inaccurate timeline for when ProPublica joined the collaboration.

Sept. 3, 2013

Correction: This post originally said NLGJA Vice-President of Broadcast Ken Miguel gave a quote to Petrelis. Miguel says he’s never spoken with Petrelis about the sponsorship. In an email to Poynter, Petrelis writes that he removed Miguel’s name from his post and that he originally included it because Miguel’s name is on this letter.

Aug. 26, 2013

Correction: This post originally said the drone belonged to WTVR. It did not.