According to a correction by Editor Kent Davy of the North County Times in suburban San Diego, that ran today, the paper published an AP story on Wednesday about a new law requiring most pet owners to spay or neuter their pets. But, somewhere along the line, a staffer changed a reference to a councilman's appearance at a related news conference where he "held" a kitten. The North County Times version said he "strangled" the kitten.
"We published a story Wednesday that contained a terrible mistake," Davy's correction began, then later added, "…two of our editors inserted an error into the account that fundamentally mischaracterized a press conference attended by Los Angeles City Councilman Tony Cardenas, one of the law's co-authors....After conducting an internal investigation, I believe that our editors were not being malicious, furthering some political agenda, or expressing ill will toward Cardenas or anyone else," Davy noted. "Instead, I have concluded that our mistake flowed from a deeply misguided joke that made its way into print. Still, there is nothing more important than running a newspaper that our readers can trust. We have fired the editor who initiated the unfortunate 'joke.' And we have suspended a second editor who failed to keep the error out of print."