Corrections from the past week.

Corrections from the past week.

Corrections from the past week.

Slate's mistakes.
April 9 2004 1:46 PM


An April 9 "Explainer," by Brendan I. Koerner, originally stated that single-piston aircraft accounted for 68.5 percent of general aviation accidents. The aircraft in question were actually single-engine piston aircraft.

The April 8 "International Papers," by Ed Finn, originally stated that China "will claim veto power over any changes to the region's election laws."In fact, the new ruling states that Beijing must be consulted before any amendment to election law is considered. Previously, Beijing only had to grant approval at the end of the amendment process. Also the original text read: "According to the handover pact China made with Britain in 1997, the SAR (or special administrative region) could choose to amend its election laws after 2007." The handover agreement between China and Britain was not made in 1997; it was made in 1984, and took effect in 1997. The Basic Law, which lays out Hong Kong's election procedures, was drafted by Beijing under the guidelines of the handover agreement. It is this document that Beijing recently reinterpreted. (Such changes could be made at any time.) 2007 is viewed as a propitious date for change because it will herald Hong Kong's next major election cycle.


In an April 7 "Jurisprudence," Emily Bazelon stated that the Episcopal Church would take up questions about gay ordination and marriage at its quadrennial conference this spring. In fact, it is the United Methodist Church that will take up the question this spring.

In the April 7 "Today's Papers" column, Hudson Morgan originally and mistakenly referred to Fallujah as a "Shiite stronghold." The Iraqi city is actually part of the Sunni triangle.

In the March 31 "Explainer," Jill Hunter Pellettieri originally misstated the exact nature of the charges against the executives in the Tyco case. They faced a 32-count indictment that included grand larceny and falsifying business records, not 32 counts of enterprise corruption, as was originally stated.

The March 25 "Medical Examiner" column by Maia Szalavitz, "The Accidental Addict," contained several errors.

  • The column incorrectly states that the Dec. 21, 2003, column by New York Times Public Editor Daniel Okrent "dealt with Oxycontin bias" in the journalism of Times reporter Barry Meier. Instead, Okrent's column asked whether allowing Meier to write on narcotic painkillers soon after the publication of his book (Pain Killer) on the same topic posed a "conflict of interest." Okrent concluded there was no conflict of interest.
  • The column inaccurately and unfairly compares Meier's article, "The Delicate Balance of Pain and Addiction" (Nov. 25, 2003), and a five-part series on the dangers of OxyContin published in the Orlando Sentinel (Oct. 19-23, 2003), for which the Sentinel ran a lengthy correction on Feb. 5, 2004. The Slate column should not have compared the two as Meier's article contained no factual errors.
  • The column incorrectly states that Meier's Nov. 25, 2003, article referred to a South Carolina pain-management clinic. The Times article in which Meier mentioned the South Carolina clinic was published on Dec. 10, 2001. Also, Meier did not call the pain management clinic a "pill mill," as the quotation marks in the Slate article implied.
  • The column incompletely describes the status of prosecutions of the doctors at the South Carolina pain clinic, discussing only two of eight cases. The column should have reported that six other doctors either pleaded guilty or were convicted at trial. (The column's claim that one doctor committed suicide rather than testify against his colleagues is still being investigated by Slate.)
  • The column incorrectly states that "abuse accounts" involving OxyContin began to rise in 2001 only after media reports and prosecutor disclosures instructed potential users on how to work around the drug's time-release mechanism. An earlier increase in OxyContin use was recorded by the  Drug Abuse Warning Network  in 1998.
  • The column also mischaracterized Meier's reporting on the prevalence of "accidental" addiction among patients receiving OxyContin prescriptions for pain. Meier's Nov. 25, 2003, article did not claim that " 'accidental' addiction is more common than previously thought": His article only states that "much remains unknown" about the risk of iatrogenic (or "accidental") addiction.

If you believe you have found an inaccuracy in a Slate story, please send an e-mail to, and we will investigate. General comments should be posted in "The Fray," our reader discussion forum.