The Washington Post

Examiner prints wrong Chavous

Anyone who’s ever worked in a newsroom understands how this mistake occurred. The Washington Examiner’s Jonetta Rose Barras was writing a column about former D.C. Councilmember Kevin P. Chavous and his efforts on behalf of education reform. The photo accompanying the column has a short caption reading “Chavous.”

Only it’s the wrong one. Instead of Kevin P. Chavous, the photo showcases his son, Kevin B. Chavous. What harried print-production manager wouldn’t make that mistake? The names, after all, are just about identical, save for the middle initials — and even those are both consonants that fall into a category of what pronunciation experts call ”stop sounds.”

The photo is a head shot, a tiny window on the page, and wouldn’t even be worth commenting on if Kevin B. Chavous, an aspiring politician like his father, hadn’t been arrested last year for soliciting prostitution.

Says Managing Editor Michael Hedges via e-mail: “We simply made a mistake, and we’ll note that in tomorrow’s paper. I don’t have all the details yet since the people who laid out that page work a late shift and I haven’t had a chance to talk with them. I suspect we had a photo mislabeled in our digital files. I hope Mr. Chavous will understand, and it won’t overly mar his appreciation of what I thought was a nice column by Jonetta pointing out some of his good works.”

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.


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