Those who say The Washington Post is out of step with the country just got a new round of ammunition.
The newspaper is printing 10,000 copies a day of a special convention issue that is being distributed free among journalists and delegates attending the Democratic National Convention gathering here. And in large type at the top of Monday's second section, above a picture of John Kerry and John Edwards, is a banner headline: "ELECTION 2000."
Right topic, wrong year.
It seems that the paper's news desk used a template from the last time a special convention issue was published but forgot to update the year.
The Post is not confiscating the copies. "I decided to allow them to remain in the press center," said Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. "Even though it's an embarrassing mistake, it's not a mistake in substance of stories."
This was not exactly the New York Post reporting that Kerry had picked Dick Gephardt as his running mate. "At least we weren't wrong on the news," Downie said. "We were wrong in labeling the news."
Still, it was an unscripted moment at a gathering that so far has lacked them. Downie saw a silver lining: "We created a collectors' item that can be taken by all the delegates and sold on eBay."