Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Just The Fact's Ma'am

Ok, so I have always been under the impression that magazines employ people as fact checkers. You know, the people who get a draft of an article and then set about confirming things stated as fact in the article, be it a celebrities birthdate or the population of a town.

Well, after reading something tonight in, of all things, TV Guide, I have to wonder about them.

The article in question was basically who makes what in TV land. There was very little text. It was mostly done in chart format. Different charts for different categories. Things like Prime Time Series, listing how much per episode various starts of shows make.

Well, under the heading "TV NEWS", you will find the big guns like Katie Couric, who makes 15 Million per year and Matt Lauer who makes 12. Who's #4 on that list, you may ask? Well, I'll tell you. It's someone from FoxNews who makes between 7 and 8 million per year named SHEPHERD Smith.

That's right. SHEPHERD.

The only problem is....well...Shepard Smith does not spell his name "Shepherd".

A quick visit to the FoxNews website could have given any fact checker...or mail room employee...the correct spelling of Mr. Smith's name. Since that obviously wasn't done, we know NO ONE checked the spelling of the mans' name.

Now, if we were talking about Matt or Brian or Tom, I wouldn't expect anyone to check the spelling of the name. But Shepard isn't exactly your garden variety, run of the mill, every day moniker. It's a name that is, for the most part, unusual.

So, wouldn't it stand to reason that someone~anyone~check for the proper spelling prior to the article going to press?

If it's too much trouble to check the simple spelling of a name, how do we trust the validity of anything else published in TV Guide?

How do I know for sure that Dirty Jobs will be on Tuesday at 9? Or that LOST will be on at all? Did anyone bother to check and make sure?

So, I'll do the fact checking for you, TV Guide:

Click here: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,1260,00.html

1 comment:

newsjunkie said...

I saw that last week when I got my TV Guide in the mail. I was very glad I didn't pay for that subscription. (I got it as an eRewards reward.)