Fact-checker at ‘the most accurate magazine in America’ gets a few things wrong

Letter to Romenesko

From NAME WITHHELD: I’m a former newspaper reporter who enjoys reading the blog. Thought you might enjoy the following. Please don’t publish my name.

On Sept. 25, writer James Pogue attended a Mitt Romney rally in Vandalia, Ohio, as a correspondent for Vice magazine. On Oct. 4, he wrote about the event on vice.com, relating that while waiting for Romney to speak, he requested a cigarette from an “astonishingly slovenly” Robert Emmett Tyrrell Jr., the editor-in-chief of American Spectator magazine. Pogue reported that Tyrrell — whose name he misspelled — was wearing an “outback hat” and “ill-fitting” jeans with the cuffs rolled up.

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. (left) and Robert Stacy McCain

When the 70-year-old Tyrrell, 68, heard about Pogue’s article, he called the correspondent he sent to cover the same rally for his own magazine: 53-year-old political blogger Robert Stacy McCain, a former assistant national editor at the Washington Times. On Oct. 11, McCain wrote on his blog that he was the person in fedora and rolled-up jeans who gave Pogue the cigarette. McCain said he was “astonished” at how Pogue reported their encounter.

As of this morning, Pogue’s misidentification of Tyrrell and misspelling of Tyrrell’s name remained uncorrected on vice.com – even after a commenter (not me) pointed out the mistake.

The kicker: Pogue is a magazine fact checker. He recently wrote a long piece about what that job is like, in which he said the unnamed publication he works for is “the most accurate magazine in America.”

James, care to respond?