Thursday, December 8, 2011

Spot the Mistake: Solution

Here's the Yahoo sports page I had you look at earlier today.

Deal was the first one to spot the mistake, the accidental misspelling of Marshawn Lynch's name as Marshawn Lunch. It was a simple typographical error that all of us make, and Yahoo corrected it in a couple of minutes. No big deal.

On the other hand, this past weekend Yahoo made a much more unforgivable mistake. In an article licensed from Men's Health about the saddest cities in America, St. Louis made the list as the fifth most depressed city. No surprise there, I suppose. When I took a trip there as a high schooler for a club soccer tournament, my buds and I made friends with a local group of girls after handily defeating the team their friends/boyfriends were on. They wanted us to party with them, but we declined, as we still had the long drive home to make. Wait, this story gets better. When one of the girls asked my friend what we thought of their city, he replied, "It's like it got hit by radiation." So, yeah, St. Louis is still a relatively backwards place. It might be geographically in the midwest, but culturally leans to the South.

But I digress. Look at the first sentence in the story describing why STL is such a horrible place to live.

This article's author was writing under the assumption that the Cardinals had LOST the World Series. Did this story have a deadline that happened to coincide with the ninth or tenth inning of game 6? And did the story then get locked down without any ability to make changes until it was published more than a month later?
Giving the story the benefit of the doubt, I could suspend my disbelief enough to interpret the "Cards' World Series loss" line as referring to the 2004 Series against Boston. But even if you make that tremendous leap, the Cardinals went on to win the World Series two years later. Are we supposed to think that St. Louis residents, despite a relatively recent World Series victory, are still in mourning over the 4-0 sweep at the hands of the Red Sox which came two years earlier?

Even though this was the rare article where reader comments could not be left directly below it, there must have been some sort of outcry over the egregious factual error. Pulling up the same article today, I found that the mistake had been corrected.

Is there a lesson that can be learned from this? Perhaps. As one Steve Czaban, hilarious sports talk show host (who spends a good 20 minutes with a pair of morning DJ's here in Milwaukee each day) likes to say: The internet never forgets, and it's always open.


cynicalbuddha said...

I'm convinced that the writers for Yahoo have no editor, research their articles from the bar using wikapedia, and never bother with spell check.

night owl said...

Yeah, yahoo plays fast-and-loose with journalism rules more so than traditional media. Give them credit for breaking some news, but execution really kills them sometimes.

Mad Guru said...

I can forgive the mistakes because I thought they were something else. In the first shot, I thought the mistake to which you referred was the Vikings actually signing McNabb in the first place.

In the second, I just figured the writer was referring to the 1985 Denkinger Series. I don't think Cardinals fans are over that yet.