Whopper of the Week: The Associated Press
"[P]rincipal Marcie Miller said the highly competitive school remains proud of [John Walker] Lindh as well as its other students, who tend to be highly motivated, self-directed critical thinkers."
—Dec. 13 A.P. story
"Due to an editing error in an article about Lindh's suburban upbringing, The Associated Press reported erroneously Dec. 13 that TamiscalHigh School Principal Marcie Miller said the school remains proud of him as well as its other students.
"Miller, who took the job 2 1/2 years ago—well after Lindh left Tamiscal and took off for the Middle East—had told the AP the school is proud of its students in general.
"The only thing Miller initially had to say about Lindh—who attended Tamiscal for a year and a half before taking an equivalency exam and leaving at the age of 16—was that teachers had called him 'a gifted writer of poetry.'
"'I never met John, so I never would have said that I am proud of him,' she said.
"In fact, Lindh's decision to volunteer for Osama bin Laden's cause is 'opposed to everything I've devoted my life to,' Miller said. 'My brother is a Gulf War hero, I come from an extremely patriotic family, my father's a veteran and I find this appalling, that I'm being cast as a villain who's proud of anything John Walker Lindh has done since he left our school in January of 1998.' … Miller said the last time she made headlines was when she brought a junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program into another alternative school, and was 'criticized for being an arch-conservative.' "
—Jan. 2 AP story.
(Thanks to Anthony York's "The Proud Principal Who Wasn't" in Salon.)
Got a whopper? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. To be considered, an entry must be an unambiguously false statement paired with an unambiguous refutation, and both must be derived from some appropriately reliable public source. Preference will be given to newspapers and other documents that Chatterbox can link to online.
Timothy Noah is a former Slate staffer. His book about income inequality is The Great Divergence.