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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) State Sen. Karen Morgan joined former Sen. Bob Bennett at the Hinckley Institute of Politics. File photo.
Wrong Taft. Wrong newspaper.

Just got off the phone with a gentleman who wanted to point out, politely but firmly, that Monday's column by former Sen. Bob Bennett contained a howler of an error. One that Bennett should have been too smart to make, if he did make it, and that someone on the editor's desk should have been smart enough to catch.

The offending paragraph:

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I have been following politics all my life. The first Republican convention I remember in which there was a contest was 1952, when Dwight D. Eisenhower narrowly outmaneuvered William Howard Taft to win. From then until now, I have never seen a nomination fight like this one.

Eisenhower did no such thing, of course. He outmaneuvered Robert Taft, W.H. Taft's son. Bennett's memory may go back aways, but not that far back.

Only problem with my friend's phone call: Bennett's weekly column does not run in The Salt Lake Tribune. It runs in the Deseret News.

When I looked later, the error in the body of the column had been corrected in the online version of the column. I don't know if my friend was the one who pointed it out to the DNews editors, or they found it themselves.

But it had not been corrected in the summary paragraph.

My friend apologized for getting the two newspapers mixed up. He reads them both, he said.

So, he asked, do you have a phone number for the appropriate personage at the Deseret News so I can call them?

No, actually, I don't. And I can't find one printed anywhere in their newspaper. Except for a fax number to send letters to the editor.

I guess they don't want anyone bothering them over Joshua Bell's invention.

Note: Now that I have poked fun at the DNews for such an error, the fates will demand that a similar goof appear in the Salt Lake Tribune's opinion pages sometime very soon. Keep an eye peeled.

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