Axegrinder apology special: Have I got News for You, the Daily Mail, Time and Northern & Shell

Has Axegrinder Got an Apology for You

The smug and ridiculously well paid hosts on Have I Got News for You committed the sort of lazy mistake they enjoy lampooning journalists for on 14 December when they alleged that a Lady Camoys was a Nazi-loving aristocrat.

Unfortunately in making their reference to a dead Lady Camoys they failed to check whether there was a living Lady Camoys who might take offence. A schoolboy error as they say.

Here is the BBC correction: “During a recent episode of ‘Have I Got News for You’ broadcast on 14 December 2012, reference was made during the ‘Missing Words Round’ to a newspaper headline that referred to a story about a Lady Camoys (whose full name is Mary Jeanne Stourton Camoys) containing allegations to the effect that she was a Nazi loving aristocrat. The BBC would like to make it clear that the Lady Camoys being referred to, both in the programme and the newspaper, was a previous Lady Camoys, who died in 1987. This was not intended to refer to the current Lady Camoys, whose full name is Elisabeth Mary Hyde Camoys, to whom we apologise for any embarrassment caused.”

An exception to Mail apology rule

The Daily Mail’s corrections column has become a sporadic part of the paper – no doubt thanks to rising standards and fewer mistakes.

Axegrinder breathed a sigh of relief to see it missing on Tuesday. No mistakes today I thought, only too find this correction on page 22 headed Stephen A. Wynn.

Mr Wynn did not have links to the mafia, as the Mail alleged in an earlier piece, nor did he threaten to kill an associate over a gambling debt or almost lose his gambling licence over money laundering allegations.

A 500-word apology

Time magazine has published an amazing 500-plus word correction to a piece which wrongly alleged – among other things – that Oxford University accepted only one black Caribbean student in 2009.

The correction goes on and on, concluding with: “The article has been changed to correct the misstatement that a lack of strong candidates from poor backgrounds is not the concern of Oxford and Cambridge.

The article has amended the phrase ‘Oxford and Cambridge’s myopic focus on cherry-picking the most academically accomplished,’ to more fairly reflect the universities’ approach.”

So much for US-journalism’s fabled reputation for fact-checking!

And a few more…

Last month Press Gazette revealed that model Katie Price had launched a mammoth legal action against Northern and Shell over a series of articles which she said were libellous and breached a “goodwill” deal with the company.

Since then we have been told that the lawsuit was not only settled before Christmas, but that numerous apologies have been published.

They include this in the Daily Star: “Katie was never due to appear on the show [Celebrity Big Brother] and we had been informed of this before we published the story but due to a misunderstanding the story was published.”

And this in OK: “We suggested that Katie Price had given us an interview about Danny Cipriani and we published an article which we incorrectly claimed included details given to us by Katie.

“In fact, Katie had not taken part in an interview in which she either confirmed or commented on any relationship with Danny Cipriani.”

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