The New York Times wrongly reported that Goldman Sachs had fired its CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Mediaite reported recently.
The error was made on a report about Elizabeth Williams, a courtroom illustrator who has co-written a book on “five courtroom illustrators who chronicled famous trials of the last half-century.”
The New York Times‘ April 16 correction admits that the newspaper misidentified Blankfein as the former CEO, when he is still CEO. The correction reads:
“An article on Tuesday about the courtroom artist Elizabeth Williams misstated the title of Lloyd C. Blankfein, who testified in the insider trading trial of Rajat Gupta, one defendant Ms. Williams sketched. Mr. Blankfein is the current, not former, chief executive of Goldman Sachs.”
Mediaite noted that earlier this year, New York Times ombudsman Margaret Sullivan reported on the Twitter account @gselevator, an account that purported to tweet comments from the elevator at Goldman Sachs.
The much-followed Twitter account posted quotes that were allegedly heard on the elevator. But, it was a fake; the man running the account didn’t work for Goldman Sachs and lives in Texas.
Sullivan had blogged in February about the Times’ report identifying the man running the Twitter account and mentioned the claim that there was a policy against speaking on the elevator at Goldman Sachs as a result of the viral posts from the account.
Sullivan told iMediaEthics by e-mail that her comment was “based on a real tweet from Goldman.”
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Goldman Sachs’ Twitter account noted in a tweet that it had just been “kidding” about no talking on the elevator.
— Goldman Sachs (@GoldmanSachs) February 25, 2014
But, she later had to correct her post to acknowledge that the elevator claim wasn’t real either. The post has since been updated with a note disclosing: “This post has been updated to remove my admittedly naïve reference to the elevator policy at Goldman Sachs.”
iMediaEthics asked Sullivan why the changes to the post were labeled an update and not a correction. She responded, “The initial statement was based on a real tweet from Goldman. I missed the sarcasm, which I acknowledged.”