To Err is Predictable

Just because no correction is published in regard to a newspaper item doesn't mean it's necessarily accurate. Take the smaller of two photos that ran in the print edition of the March 5 Denver Post alongside a piece about state funding for veterans; the ink-on-paper report was headlined "Please 'Help Our Heroes,'" while the online version appears under the deck "Veterans Take Aim at Capitol." The individual in the foreground of the image is correctly identified as Artie Guerrero, who "served with the 191st Military Intelligence Unit." But the person behind him at the left of the frame isn't Marvin Meyers, director of the United Veterans Committee of Colorado. He's another local veteran's activist named Leon "Rod" Rodriguez.

How do I know? Rodriguez is my wife's uncle. (She's also related to Guerrero; he's her cousin a couple of times removed.) After I showed her the photo, complete with the botched caption, my beloved phoned Uncle Leon, who confirmed that the shot had been mislabeled. However, he said he hadn't called the Post to ask for a correction. After all, he was happy that Meyers' name saw print -- and besides, he added, about half the stuff that winds up in newspapers is wrong anyway.

I'd like to think that percentage is a little high. But there's probably no way to know for sure. -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts