Post should have called its “clarification” of Andrews’ column a “correction”

The opinion articles in a newspaper like The Denver Post aren’t an anything-goes zone when it comes to facts.

Professional editors over there do their best to keep the facts real, even if the opinions are bogus. So you’re more likely to read factual information in a Post op-ed than in a random blog like this one (though I do my best).

So this means, if an error slips through the editors, they’ll correct it (as  I will).

That’s what happened last week as it became clear that GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan did not climb 40 Colorado peaks, as written by conservative columnist John Andrews Aug. 26.

Andrews wrote in an opinion article boldly titled “Paul Ryan, Mountain Man:”

“[Andrews] has climbed 40 of the state’s 54 peaks over 14,000 feet.”

Turns out, as The Post wrote in a “clarification” Friday, Ryan climbed 28 peaks, but he climbed these 28 mountains a total of 38 times, if you believe what he told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

I don’t get why The Post calls it a “clarification” when Andrews writes, completely inaccurately, that Ryan climbed 40 Colorado peaks.

It was an error on Aug. 11 (2 peaks off the mark, because he failed to write “nearly 40”), and now now it’s clear the error is worse (14 peaks off).

Here’s the item The Post ran on the matter Friday:

• CLARIFICATION: An Aug. 11 Denver Post story and an Aug. 26 column by John Andrews relied on comments from state Republican Party chairman Ryan Call that U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan has climbed nearly 40 of the state’s peaks over 14,000 feet. In a 2009 interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Ryan addressed the number of individual fourteeners he had summited directly. “I think I’ve climbed like 28 (peaks), and I’ve done it 38 times,” he said of his Colorado fourteener experiences.
And here’s the original unattributed information in  the Aug. 11 Post. This was not as flat-out  wrong as  Andrews’ column, but it was definitely was in need of clarification.
Presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s choice for vice president, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, is a man well acquainted with Colorado, having hiked nearly 40 of the state’s highest peaks
I’m hoping, for the sake of those of us who like to think facts in the opinion section are accurate and details matter, The Post corrects its “clarification,” and calls it a full-throttled “correction,” for the Aug. 26 John Andrews column.

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