Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images
NPR mistakenly reported that Dominique Strauss-Kahn was acquitted. The charges were actually dismissed.
NPR mistakenly reported that Dominique Strauss-Kahn was acquitted. The charges were actually dismissed. Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images
Listeners' sharp ears caught a slip in All Things Considered's coverage of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case last week.
Your emails pointed out that Eleanor Beardsley said on air on Aug. 23 that Strauss-Kahn had been acquitted of the rape charges against him.
Reed Mahoney of Burlington, NC, wrote, "While Mr. Strauss-Kahn may never face criminal charges for his alleged acts, no court has acquitted him, for doing so would be rendering a verdict of 'not guilty.' That did not happen."
All Things Considered agreed. In the letters segment of their August 24 broadcast, they corrected that error, as well as a couple others in their reports.
Here's the transcript of their correction for the broadcast:
"It's time now for your letters and several corrections about our coverage of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case. Yesterday, some of you heard us report that Strauss-Kahn had been acquitted of sexual assault charges, bringing an end to a three month criminal investigation, but as several listeners pointed out, Strauss-Kahn was never tried in court and, therefore, could not have been acquitted. Rather, his charges were dismissed.
SIEGEL: We also referred to Nafissastou Diallo at one point as the defendant in the case. She was not. She is Strauss-Kahn's accuser.
And in a story from earlier week, we said Strauss-Kahn faces sexual assault charges in France. He is being investigated for sexual assault there, but he has not been formally charged."
The online version of the story and the posted audio, based on rebroadcasts of the show, are mistake free.
The correction that was made between the earlier and later on-air versions, however, should have been noted online and wasn't.
Jeffrey Katz, deputy managing editor for digital news, said that this was due to a miscommunication between the on-air and online teams. He said an online note would go up immediately.
Listen to the original broadcast and see the corrections here.
— For more on this case, read my column about how to identify Strauss-Kahn's accuser here.