Note transposed

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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 07:21 am

The Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland on Tony Blair’s farewell speech, last Wednesday:

When Blair said that a withdrawal from Iraq or Afghanistan would be “a craven act of surrender”, he said it to silence.

Readers noted at the time that Freedland was wrong. Now his newspaper ‘fesses up:

In a Comment piece headed A storming send-off – but the silences show why he had to go, page 29, September 27, we said that Tony Blair’s statement that a withdrawal from Iraq or Afghanistan would be “a craven act of surrender” was received by conference delegates in silence. That was not the case. As our “clapometer” recorded on page 6 of the same issue, the statement drew 11.44 seconds of applause.

Marcus at Harry’s Place notes:

Even if Freedland’s hearing aid had malfunctioned for a full twelve seconds one might expect the reporter to have witnessed the massed palms of the delegates’ left and right hands being brought together in the universal physical gesture of agreement and approval for the same amount of time.

And here’s an explanation, not an excuse from dozy Jonathan:

My mistake was to inadvertently transpose a note I had made—“no applause”—while following an advance text of the speech, from one page of that text to another. That is emphatically not an excuse, but rather an explanation for a mistake which, I agree, should be corrected.

What a pro.

(Via Garth G.)

Posted by Tim B. on 10/03/2006 at 12:18 AM
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