The New York Times has run yet another correction to columnist Paul Krugman’s numerous errors regarding the recounts in Florida after the 2000 presidential election. These errors were noted by bloggers more than a month ago.
The correction comes in the form of a “Letter From the Editor” by editorial page editor Gail Collins, who acknowledges that Krugman mischaracterized the results of two recount studies, one led by the Miami Herald and the other led by the New York Times:
In describing the results of the ballot study by the group led by The Miami Herald in his column of Aug. 26, Paul Krugman relied on the Herald report, which listed only three hypothetical statewide recounts, two of which went to Al Gore. There was, however, a fourth recount, which would have gone to George W. Bush. In this case, the two stricter-standard recounts went to Mr. Bush. A later study, by a group that included The New York Times, used two methods to count ballots: relying on the judgment of a majority of those examining each ballot, or requiring unanimity. Mr. Gore lost one hypothetical recount on the unanimity basis.
This is the first time these errors have been acknowledged in the print version of the Times.
Although Collins’ letter mentions Krugman’s August 19 column, her correction does not. That column falsely stated:
Two different news media consortiums reviewed Florida’s ballots; both found that a full manual recount would have given the election to Mr. Gore.
The correction to that column incorrectly states that “the results of the 2000 Florida election study by a media consortium led by The Miami Herald… showed Al Gore winning [two out of three] statewide manual recounts.”
Collins’ correction also neglects to mention Krugman’s August 22 column, entitled “Don’t Prettify Our History,” which contains this whopper:
About the evidence regarding a manual recount: in April 2001 a media consortium led by The Miami Herald assessed how various recounts of ”undervotes,” which did not register at all, would have affected the outcome. Two out of three hypothetical statewide counts would have given the election to Mr. Gore.
Given Collins’ professed concern about ensuring the accuracy of archived columns–her letter to readers is entitled “It All Goes on the Permanent Record”–it will be interesting to see if her correction is appended to Krugman’s August 19 and August 22 columns.
More blogger reax (hat tip: EU Rota, who has his own feedback):