From the professional, credentialed, holier-than-thou journalists at the New York Times, here’s the incredible correction of the day:
Editors’ Note: July 9, 2008
A front-page picture caption on June 26 describing an 11-month-old boy whose legs were in casts stated that his legs were broken and that his mother said the injuries were caused by an episode of state-sponsored violence in Zimbabwe. After the picture and an accompanying article that also described the injuries were published, The New York Times took the boy to a medical clinic in Harare for help. When the casts were removed, medical workers there discovered the boy had club feet. Doctors said on Monday that X-rays of the baby’s legs showed no evidence of bone fractures.
The mother subsequently admitted that she had exaggerated injuries she said had been sustained by the boy during an attack by governing party militia. In multiple interviews, she said that youths backing President Robert Mugabe had thrown her son to the concrete floor — and she still says that event did occur.
The owner of the house where she and the baby were staying confirmed that marauding youths from the governing party had attacked the house. He said he believed the baby had been thrown to the floor during the attack, but the owner was in a different room and did not witness it firsthand. The landlord, other lodgers, neighbors and opposition supporters also confirmed that the mother had been singled out because her husband was an opposition member.
The mother, however, later told The Times that the boy had been wearing casts even at the time of the attack, as part of a treatment he had received for his club feet at a different medical facility. She said she misrepresented the boy’s injuries to generate help because she could not afford corrective surgery for the boy.
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