More correction needed

The New York Times issues an Apology for suggesting that political dynasties are political dynasties:

In 1994, Philip Bowring, a contributor to the International Herald Tribune’s op-ed page, agreed as part of an undertaking with the leaders of the government of Singapore that he would not say or imply that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had attained his position through nepotism practiced by his father Lee Kuan Yew. In a February 15, 2010, article, Mr. Bowring nonetheless included these two men in a list of Asian political dynasties, which may have been understood by readers to infer that the younger Mr. Lee did not achieve his position through merit. We wish to state clearly that this inference was not intended. We apologize to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong for any distress or embarrassment caused by any breach of the undertaking and the article.

Regardless of the irrelevance of this apology, it’s also just wrong. The statement did not “infer” anything, and did not contain an “inference.” It could be seen as implying something, and may have contained an implication, but the Times should know that implication and inference are not synonyms, and they aren’t accountable for the erroneous implications drawn by readers from accurate statements.


  1. #1 OriGuy
    March 29, 2010

    Can I “infer” that the government of Singapore leaned on the New York Times?

  2. #2 Nats
    June 24, 2010

    OriGuy – Yes you may. I think there’s a sizeble contribution from Temasek to the Herald…Opps did i infered something there…darn it

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