The Associated Press misquoted Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel in a Feb. 22 news story about the Florida school shooting. Israel said he had been visiting victims’ family homes, where some were “sitting shiva,” the Jewish mourning tradition after a death.
But the Associated Press’s reporter misheard Israel, and reported that Israel said he had visited victims’ family homes “where they sit and shiver,” according to an AP correction.
Israel’s comments, in context, were that he was “devastated, sick to my stomach. There are no words. I mean, these families lost their children. …. I’ve been to the funerals. I’ve been to the homes where they’re sitting shiva. … It’s just, ah, there are no words.”
The Associated Press correction reads:
“In a story Feb. 22 about the Florida school shooting, The Associated Press misquoted Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel in some versions of the story when he spoke about the families of the victims. He said, ‘I’ve been to their homes where they’re sitting shiva,’ not ‘where they sit and shiver.'”
iMediaEthics has written to the AP to ask how the error occurred and how the AP learned of the mistake.
Bloomberg Law reported Jon Steingart flagged the correction on Twitter.
This is quite a correction pic.twitter.com/TnFZmbCIQV
— Jon Steingart (@jonsteingart) February 26, 2018
Jewish news site Forward noted that back in 2015, the Times made a shiva-error itself. “In 2015, The New York Times had to issue a correction after confusing a shiva call with sitting shiva itself,” Forward reported. “The Times also had to correct another part of the article: ‘Also, an earlier version of this article and its accompanying headline incorrectly compared JSwipe users to yentas. Yentas are busybodies, not matchmakers’.”
Hat Tip: Luis Gomez