Is the NYT even going to bother to correct itself?
Two days ago, the New York Times editorial page ran a piece that included a clear error. In an editorial titled “Locked, Loaded, and Looney,” the Times editors wrote:
It is an eminently good thing that the anti-suicide measure would require medical specialists to keep track of veterans found to be high risks for suicide. But that’s to care for them as human beings, under that other constitutional right — to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
As any first-year law student can confirm, there is no constitutional right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The phrase comes from the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution. This is elementary stuff. The Times’ error is a very basic and obvious one, which never should have gotten by any competent fact-checker.
Of course, the error was quickly caught by legions of bloggers. Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit wrote,
THE NEW YORK TIMES’ EDITORS think that the phrase “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is in the Constitution. But then, they believe many things that are demonstrably untrue.
Other conservative bloggers, including the Weekly Standard blog, made hay of the mistake as well. Technorati shows dozens of incoming links to the NYT editorial, many of them mocking its constitutional error.
It’s two days later now, and I’m starting to wonder: Isn’t the Times going to run a correction of some sort?
Given the press at places like Instapundit and Weekly Standard, they have to be aware of this issue (don’t they?). And yet the corrections page has yet to acknowledge that any mistake was made.
The error itself was bad. The Times should have caught it. Still, I can understand that errors will be made at a large paper (though I wish mistakes weren’t this obvious).
But I’m having a hard time understanding the Times’ failure to acknowledge the error and run a correction. What on earth could explain that? Has the paper really not even noticed the problem (incompetence stacked on incompetence)? Do the editors just not care about the error (hubris)?
What could possibly be going on?