The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
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by Jesse Walker

Tuesday, February 06, 2007
been a while since I reeled off a litany of things I've gotten wrong in my reporting. Here's a few fuckups from the last five years:

"Sim Pickings," Reason, February 2007: This mini-article describes Dan Miller as the chief economist of the Joint Economic Committee. He is not the chief; his title is senior economist. Part of the blame for that error goes to a wire service -- I was quoting something Miller had told Reuters, and they got his job wrong -- but most of the blame goes to me, for not double-checking carefully enough.

The article also states that Edward Castronova's famous article on the economy of Norrath, the world where Elfquest is played, claims that the virtual planet has "an economy larger than India's or China's." That was sloppy of me; what he wrote was that "Norrath's GNP per capita easily exceeds that of dozens of countries, including India and China."

"Sesame Street Forever," L.A. Weekly, June 30, 2005: This has a misleading lede:
Like David Crosby before him, Cookie Monster has gone into rehab. The Children's Television Workshop decided to tame the blue beast before he inspires a new generation of toddlers to eat extra Oreos: In the new season of Sesame Street, the cantor who once belted out "C Is for Cookie" has adopted a healthier diet and a new anthem, "A Cookie Is a Sometimes Food." Don’t be surprised next year if Oscar the Grouch starts taking Prozac.
Those wisecracks were based on press reports that surfaced before the season actually aired. In fact, Cookie Monster doesn't sing "A Cookie Is a Sometimes Food," or at least he doesn't sing lead; it's sung to him by Hoots the Owl, with the monster merely adding little background interjections. More to the point, at the end of the skit he finds an excuse to eat a cookie anyway. I'm sure David Crosby is jealous.

Also, the Children's Television Workshop has changed its name to Sesame Workshop.

"Norrath Paribus," Reason, June 2002: Remember how I misstated Edward Castronova's conclusions in "Sim Pickings"? I did the same thing here. My mistakes span the years!

posted by Jesse 6:17 PM
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