Newspapers, never call yourself a ‘paper of record’. Every silly mistake you make then becomes a silly mistake, of record. It’s extra fun when an institution as grand as the New York Times decides that Enda Kenny’s name is wrong and corrects it. And his gender, while they’re at it. Couldn’t they employ a competent sub-editor from Estonia or somewhere?
Mind you, a certain paper I used to work for (ahem) made a similar mistake with my copy once. Or rather, the opposite mistake. At the time there were rumours about a certain Fianna Fáil politician receiving a payment of over a million from a certain businessman. We all knew who it was, but libel laws prevented us from saying. So I decided to refer to him as ‘Edna’, which I considered the least likely possible name for a TD – especially a male one.
My sub-editor happily ‘corrected’ this to Enda – three times – changing the deliberately strange into the merely confusing, and making it look like I was impugning the reputation of the man who is our Taoiseach now. Ironic, considering his promise yesterday.
But why am I telling you about it? Thanks to the magic of the Internet, here it is. From December 1996.
Knew I should have gone with Ethel.
Speaking of wealthy businesspersons, in the news this morning we learn that there are now five people in Ireland who have made the Forbes list of dollar billionaires. To think, only a few years ago I would have felt quite proud of that fact. Now I just want to see their tax clearance certs.