Good, Bad, and Ugly

Reader reaction to Reuters news

Did he really say that?


Clinton wishes he had left White House “in a coffin”

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Former U.S. President Bill Clinton said on Monday he would have preferred to leave the White House in a coffin because he loved being commander in chief, but signaled his political life was over.

“It’s good that we have a (term) limit. Otherwise I would have stayed until I was carried away in a coffin. Or defeated in an election,” Clinton said at a conference in Istanbul. “I loved doing the job.”

Clinton won two terms in office, the maximum under the constitution, and served from 1992 to 2000.

Your story contains a rather obvious factual error, that he served in office 1992-2000. He was elected in 1992, and took office in January 1993, as you undoubtedly know.

Pass this word by….


Rihanna describes night of attack by Chris Brown

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – R&B singer Rihanna broke her silence on Friday about the night her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown attacked her, saying he had bitten her, put her in a headlock and left her bleeding and swollen.

Her screams prompted a bypasser to call the police.

The little things distinguish good writing from mediocre. In this article, the writer refers to a person assisiting Rihanna as “a bypasser.” I’m guessing that word is not even in the writer’s Spell Check!



U.N. agency hunts for microscopic nuclear clues

SEIBERSDORF, Austria (Reuters) – A hotchpotch set of grey and white buildings huddled in fields outside Vienna may seem an unlikely setting for a laboratory which could help uncover illicit nuclear activity.

Please tell your writer it’s “hodgepodge” not “hotchpotch”

Has that store stopped moving?


Thousands line up for last Big Mac in Iceland

In a nearby stationary store, Thora Sigurdardottir, a 35-year old nursing assistant, said she had no intention of going for a final McDonald’s meal.

In your article “Thousands line up for last Big Mac in Iceland,” the word should be “stationery” not “stationary,” unless it is important that the store remains still?

Taunting children?


Members of the protest group Code Pink taunt local school children with chants about the war in Afghanistan as the children and their families arrive for a Halloween reception by U.S. President Barack Obama and his family at the White House in Washington, October 31, 2009. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst   

I must strongly protest your caption on the photo of protesters outside the White House. Using the verb “taunt” with “local school children” as its object is inaccurate, pejorative and unwarranted.

The f-word?


The secret Paulson-Goldman meeting

For f**k’s sake! Wilkinson thought. He and Treasury had had enough trouble trying to fend off all the Goldman Sachs conspiracy theories constantly being bandied about in Washington and on Wall Street. A private meeting with its board? In Moscow?

Not the right word?


Darfur kidnap victims endured mock assassinations

KHARTOUM, Oct 19 (Reuters) – Two Darfur aid workers held captive on a harsh mountaintop on the remote Sudan-Chad border for 107 days said they felt anger at mock assassinations by their captors but clung to the hope they would be released.

One shocking howler in your story is your reporter’s repeated use of the term ‘mock assassinations’ when she actually means ‘mock executions’.

Offending the hackers?


Microsoft releases biggest patch on record

It said six of the patches were high priority and should be deployed immediately. The patches — which update software to write over glitches — are designed to protect users from hackers or malicious software downloaded from the Internet.

The word you are looking for is “crackers” NOT “hackers”. There is a huge difference, and it is quite offensive to use the incorrect term.

No bones about it…


Bones found in California kidnap case probably old

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Bone slivers found near the home of a California man accused of kidnapping Jaycee Dugard and holding her for 18 years did not yield human DNA and are probably old Native American remains, police said on Friday.

“The DOJ Bureau of Forensic Services was not able to recover human DNA from any of the bone fragments,” Contra Costa County Sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Lee said. “A forensic anthropologist says the bones are probably human, old and likely Native American.”

Treble without a cause?


Microsoft launches new phone software

The market for phones is set to treble or quadruple in the next few years, Ballmer said, and Microsoft is ready to challenge other phone makers for market share.

The following quote: “The market for phones is set to treble or quadruple in the next few years, Ballmer said, and Microsoft is ready to challenge other phone makers for market share.” was on your site today.