Accuracy in Media

maureen dowd nyt

The New York Times issued a major correction of Wednesday’s Maureen Dowd column in which she misquoted the wife of mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, while she was speaking about his opponent, Christine Quinn, and setting off a firestorm in process:

Maureen Dowd’s column on Wednesday misquoted the response of Chirlane McCray, the wife of New York City’s public advocate, Bill de Blasio, to a question about the City Council speaker, Christine Quinn who like Mr. de Blasio is seeking the Democratic nomination for mayor.

Ms. McCray said: “Well, I’m a woman, and she’s not speaking to the issues that I care about, and I think a lot of women feel the same way. I don’t see her speaking to the concerns of women who have to take care of children at a young age or send them to school and after school, paid sick days, issues in the workplace — she’s not speaking to any of those issues. What can I say? And she’s not accessible, she’s not the kind of person that I feel that I can go up and talk to and have a conversation with about those things, and I suspect that other women feel the same thing that I’m feeling.”

Ms. McCray did not say: “She’s not the kind of person I feel I can go up to and talk to about issues like taking care of children at a young age and paid sick leave.”

In addition, the column misstated the place where the interview occurred. It was the Good Stuff Diner, not the Good Times coffee shop, in Greenwich Village.

Dowd blamed the misquote on a noisy coffee shop and her tape recorder that didn’t “pick up everything,” even though the de Blasio campaign didn’t seem to have a similar problem. The noise apparently also affected Dowd’s ability to get the name of the restaurant correct. She said she was going to get a noise-cancelling microphone for her recorder to avoid this problem in the future.

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