The Press: Mea Culpa

"In short, we find ourselves guilty," the Washington Post told readers of its editorial page. In convicting itself of "reinforcing a misconception," the Post was straightforward about it: "There is no adequate excuse for making this kind of error in the first place and none for failing to pursue the truth behind the phony 'facts.' "

The Post's sin was to state on Dec. 9, 1969 that "a total of 28 [Black] Panther members have died in clashes with police since Jan. 1, 1968" without giving the source of its information or trying to verify the accuracy of the figure. What prompted...

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