Amateurish errors and apparent deception

Glenn Reynolds links to this Dave Kopel article and says that it shows that the New York Times reporting on guns was “riddled with amateurish errors and apparent deception”. Speaking of which, here is Kopel:

What if a gun owner does something very unwicked—such as saving dozens of people from a mass killer? Don’t expect to read about it in the New York Times. When a failing law student went on a murder rampage at Appalachian School of Law, Times reporter Francis X. Clines explained that the killing ended when the killer “was tackled by fellow students” (Jan 17, 2002). “Mr. Odighizuwa was subdued by three law students who were experienced police officers, the authorities said,” Cline wrote. What Clines and the Times omitted was that two of the law students who “subdued” and “tackled” the killer had retrieved their own handguns from their cars, and had used those handguns to “subdue” the murderer.

and this is what Clines wrote in the New York Times story (emphasis added):

Mr. Odighizuwa was subdued by three law students who were experienced police officers, the authorities said.

“We’re trained to run into the situation instead away from it,” said one of the three, Mikael Gross, 34, of Charlotte, N.C., who ran to his car for his bulletproof vest and service pistol before tackling the suspect.

That’s right, it was in the very next sentence and Kopel somehow failed to notice it.

None of this is new—Kopel admitted that the error was indefensible and posted a correction on The Corner some three months ago. Trouble is, the NRO hasn’t bothered to add a correction to the article. Is this an amateurish error or an apparent deception?

Update: Glenn Reynolds has an update where he notes that failure to correct errors in articles is a common problem at NRO. He also writes:

Notably, however, Lambert doesn’t try to defend Fox Butterfield.

I didn’t write anything about Fox Butterfield because I don’t know whether the charges are true or false. At the moment I have neither the time nor the inclination to investigate the matter. Given Kopel’s egregious error about another matter in his article, I am not going to take his word for it.

Further update: Tom Maguire examines the first thing Kopel writes about Butterfield and finds it wanting.


  1. #1 dave
    September 7, 2003

    Really, why does anybody pay any attention to Instacracker whatsoever?

  2. #2 dave
    September 7, 2003

    Oh, and the answer to the question “Is this an amateurish error or an apparent deception?” is: yes.

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