The Gang That Couldn’t Report Straight

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Remember that New York Times story about Maria Bartiromo and Citi that we tried to straighten out for you yesterday? (We had some help from Portfolio’s Market Mover blogger Felix Salmon.) Well, they’ve finally gotten around to trying to straighten it out for themselves but still don’t get it quite right.
Yesterday’s story confused Citi executive Bill Rhodes with a made-up person called William Rose and a sovereign fund from Qatar with a made-up fund from a consulting company called Cutter Associates. Easy mistakes: Rhodes does sound like Rose and Qatar is nonsensically pronounced something like Cutter. So you’d think this would be easy to correct.
But then you don’t work at the New York Times. This morning they mixed it up again. As Felix Salmon points out, the correction stumbles and gets the story wrong.


The correction reads:

An article in Business Day yesterday about the professional successes of Maria Bartiromo, a business journalist for CNBC, misstated the surname of Citigroup’s senior vice chairman, with whom she recently conducted a prominent interview. He is William R. Rhodes — not Rose. The article also misspelled the name of a sovereign investment fund that Ms. Bartiromo said she found exciting. It is Qatar Associates — not Cutter

Rhodes. Qatar. That's two correct corrections. They're on a roll! But then it all falls apart. The first problem is an omission. Yesterday's story called CutterQatar Associates "an international investment firm" which is wrong, or at least omits the most serious fact about the thing. It's not just any old investment firm, it is a sovereign investment fund--one of several such newly powerful financial beasts roaming our earth. What's more, the sovereign fund isn’t called “Qatar Associates.” It’s called Qatar Investment Authority, a name that makes it much more clear what it is. It’s almost as if the editors of the Times weren’t quite sure what a sovereign investment fund is.
Felix has some thoughts about why the Times keeps screwing this story up: “it speaks to the shallowness of the NYT's bench when it comes to business coverage. Some of the reporters have no idea what they're talking about, and the editors don't seem to be up to speed enough on business issues to catch mistakes,” he writes.
Ouch.

NYT-Bartiromo: The Comedy of Errors Continues
[Market Mover]

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