New York Times Misquote? The New York Times Is on It!

Meet The Press

Maureen Dowd. (Photo: Getty)

Today, the New York City mayoral race was shook up by a rather notable misquote by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, resulting in condemnations and fury all around.

But because “All the News That’s Fit to Print” now includes Ms. Dowd’s error, the paper’s reporting side was forced to somewhat awkwardly cover the “ugly dispute” in a followup story on whether mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio’s wife dissed his rival Christine Quinn, who is gay, for being childless.

The actual quote, which has since been corrected in Ms. Dowd’s story, was widely interpreted as having significantly shifted the meaning of the exchange (the Quinn campaign says it disagrees).

Times writer Kate Taylor, reporting on the resulting controversy, mentions Ms. Dowd’s error reasonably deep into the story, after quoting the original, erroneous transcription. “Ms. McCray’s comments were initially quoted incorrectly by Ms. Dowd, and Mr. de Blasio’s campaign said the correct quote, in context, was not inappropriate,” the story reads.

Left unmentioned was the widespread criticism of Ms. Dowd following the correction. Wonkette declared that she should go to “Journalism Jail,” for instance, while others like New York magazine pointed to past Dowd misquotes. Still others ignored the misquote and took issue with the tone of her column.

Ms. Dowd told Politico she apologized to the parties involved and attributed the error to conducting the interview in a noisy coffee shop.