Playwright Jon Robin Baitz complained after the New York Times “egregiously misquoted” him in a front-page story last month on fellow playwright David Mamet. The misquote, which has since been corrected, made readers think Baitz “publicly slammed another playwright,” which Baitz tweeted that he “never would” do. Baitz added
“I wonder what happens to people who are radically misquoted without papers’ corrections. At least in my case – they acted fast to fix it…”
But, Baitz later commented to the New York Times‘ Jason Zinoman, who says on Twitter he writes “about theater and comedy” about the error, noting that
“Most people don’t SEE corrections– just me misrepresented as a boor disaparaging work of others & your apercu remains. So..”
The Times’ correction, published in an online corrections column and on the article in question, read
“An article on Thursday about David Mamet’s current plays on Broadway quoted incorrectly from comments by another playwright, Jon Robin Baitz, and in so doing summarized his view of Mr. Mamet’s work incorrectly. Mr. Baitz, discussing recent political statements by Mr. Mamet, referred to the ‘reactionary politicization’ of his views. He did not call Mr. Mamet’s plays ‘reactionary polemics’ and he was not one of several playwrights to criticize Mr. Mamet for ponderous plays. (Mr. Baitz says he believes that Mr. Mamet’s plays have had a major influence on American playwriting.)”
The article now doesn’t contain any quotes by Baitz.
iMediaEthics has written to Baitz and the Times‘ Healy asking for more information about the error, how its correction was made, and what the article originally said and will update with any responses.