By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Mr. Fussy writes a correction

With apologies to Alex Beam, by way of Roger Hargreaves.

The Globe today publishes a correction that is superfluous bordering on confusing. It reads:

Based on incomplete information on a congressional website, a graphic with a Page One story about a plaque commemorating the origins of gerrymandering wrongly said Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry and state Senator Israel Thorndike attempted to keep their Republican friends in power. They were members of the Democratic-Republican Party, also known as the Jeffersonian Democrats. The Republican Party was not founded until the 1850s.

But as anyone who’s studied American history should know, the Democratic-Republican Party, founded by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, was universally known in its early days as the Republican Party. This Wikipedia entry gets it right despite being from, you know, Wikipedia. And hand it to Wikipedia again, which correctly notes that the Republican Party started to be called the Democratic Party around the time of Andrew Jackson’s presidency.

If the Globe’s editors thought they needed to clarify this at all, instead of calling it a “Correction” they should have trotted out an old standby from years past: “Amplification.” Mr. Fussy really would have liked that.

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1 Comment

  1. Peter Porcupine

    So you would have gone with the correction that perpetuated the misinformation/misconception that it was the prrecursor to the current Republican Party that claimed Elbridge Gerry as a strategy archetect?Instead of placing him squarely where he belongs – at the roots and heart of the current Democratic Party?

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