New York Times does it again: On November 3, 1948, the Chicago Daily Tribune made itself eternally famous.
It did so by bungling a front-page headline. DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN, the famous headline said.
This morning, the New York Times decided to get in the act. When we arrived at the coffee joint, we scanned the front page of our hard-copy Times. Above the featured front-page report, here's what the headlines said:
TRUMP LANDSLIDE GIVESYou can't blame reporters Healy and Haberman for the bungled last line of that headline. Nothing in their early-edition news report explains where that premature, inaccurate statement came from.
CRUCIAL LIFT IN DELEGATE LEAD
Regains Control of Race for G.O.P.—
Clinton and Sanders in Tight Race
Presumably, some editor got a snootful, then took things from there. As a result, Candidate Dewey only tied Truman this time.
Candidate Sanders may win next week. Meanwhile, we thought the Times made up for its front-page error with a news report in the National section, a news report about life expectancy in the United States.
The report was written by Sabrina Tavernise; it included some eye-catching data. As we started our reading, these first samples caught our eye:
TAVERNISE (4/20/16): The new federal data, drawn from all deaths recorded in the country in 2014, showed that life expectancy for whites dropped to 78.8 years in 2014 from 78.9 in 2013."Those numbers have really been jumping around," we skillfully said to the analysts. Worried by what we were reading, we sat up straight in our chairs.
In contrast, life expectancy for blacks rose to 75.6 in 2014 from 75.5 in the previous year.
Before long, the Times was trying to "talk us down" by providing a bit of perspective. To us, it felt like one of one of those phony "trend stories" the Times just loves to make up:
TAVERNISE: Typically, most of the deaths in the country occur among people in their 60s or older. Deaths in people who are younger or middle age are relatively rare...On its face, it seemed to make sense, but we weren't entirely sure. The word "typically" raised warning flags, especially followed by "most of."
Could Tavernise be up to some tricks? "Run a fact-check on those numbers," we flawlessly barked at the analysts. By now, this sort of thing is second nature for us.
Truman died at 88, Dewey at 68. To this point, that's all the analysts have been able to tell us.
Those data seem to support the Times' supposition, one analyst self-importantly said. We're having his claim double-checked. It's just what we do around here.
For ourselves, we've never trusted anyone over 30. That was always Bob Dylan's key point. If you simply withhold your trust, there's a good chance you'll never get hurt.