Still, he was receptive to the idea of revisiting the May 6, 2003, piece.
"I definitely think I should do something on the Web and clear the air over this," he said.
I hope he does, and soon, although I'd prefer he did it in print so the caveats—if there are any—will be preserved in the amber of Nexis alongside his original column.
What distinguishes Kristof from the usual op-ed blowhard is his devotion to reporting, especially of the get-out-of-New-York-and-Washington variety. You may recall that he and his wife Sheryl WuDunn shared a Pulitzer Prize for their Tiananmen Square coverage. Why shouldn't Kristof's op-ed columns reflect the same standards of accountability as his news pieces?
Addendum, 7 p.m.: Sometime between my morning interview with Kristof and this moment, the columnist posted to his Times Web page a clarification to his May 6, 2003. (You must be a Times Select reader to view the clarification.) So far, so good. Here's hoping that Kristof links to the clarification from the May 6, 2003, piece in the Times Web archives and adds an addendum to the Nexis copy. And, of course, a mention of the clarification in his regular column wouldn't hurt, either.
Addendum, Nov. 4: Mickey Kaus parses Kristof's clarification.
I'm willing to hear from all you weed-waders. Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. (E-mail may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)