A myth dies slowly

The New York Times corrects itself: No Clinton White House Lay-over.

By Brendan Nyhan

Published March 15, 2002 4:44PM (EST)

The New York Times finally issued a correction Friday to Alison Mitchell's Feb. 1 story that repeated the myth that Kenneth Lay stayed in the Lincoln Bedroom during the Clinton White House. Note the claim that an "editing lapse" caused the delay:

"An article on Feb. 1 about a Democratic television commercial that attacked Elizabeth Dole for having attended a fund-raiser given by Kenneth L. Lay, the former chairman of Enron, misstated a connection between him and President Bill Clinton. While they played golf together, records reviewed by a Clinton spokesman show that Mr. Lay did not stay overnight in the Clinton White House. A reader's e-mail reported the error to The Times a few weeks ago; this correction was delayed by an editing lapse."

I first reported this error in a March 4 post. By Tuesday, the Times still had not issued the correction that Mitchell told me she submitted on March 7, which I noted here. More than a week later -- and more than a month after the error originally appeared -- the nation's "paper of record" has finally corrected itself.

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Brendan Nyhan

Brendan Nyhan is a political scientist currently serving as a RWJ Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan.

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