The Day's Best Correction Involves a Description of a Navy Captain's Physique

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 23 2013 11:38 AM

The Day's Best Correction Involves a Description of a Navy Captain's Physique

This morning's print edition of the Washington Post gives us what is sure to be everyone's favorite correction of the day (the second one down):

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

1382543164

Photo by Slate's incredibly fit and good-looking Dan Kois

In the online version, the editors are describing the change as merely a clarification, but the point remains the same: Washington's paper of record now states as fact that Capt. Robert Durand is indeed muscular and definitely not thickset, an adjective that often brings with it the image of a burly man who, while strong, is carrying a few extra pounds. The original article ran without a photo of Durand, so we're largely left to take the editors' word on the current state of Durand's true physique. (Although, in fairness, an AP photo taken in May shows a rather fit-looking Durand.)

Advertisement

Here's how the fixed graph now reads online: "Durand, a tall, muscular man with glasses, talks about his work in big, broad terms. He is not merely a public affairs officer, but someone engaged in a struggle against a determined al-Qaeda propaganda effort."

It's unclear exactly what prompted the correction*, although it's probably safe to assume that Durand or someone close to him complained to the paper and asked for the change. As the original article explains, Durand, who leads a 20-person public affairs team at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, runs a tight PR ship, and even had a colleague sit-in for his interview with the paper. The public affairs unit's goal is to bring more transparency to the base, but it is also tasked, in the words of the Post, "with convincing visiting reporters — and through them, the world — that Guantanamo has changed significantly and for the better."

***Follow @JoshVoorhees and the rest of the @slatest team on Twitter.***

*I've reached out to the reporter who wrote the story and will update if I hear back.

(h/t @emmersbrown)

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Culturebox
Oct. 22 2014 11:54 PM The Actual World “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.