CNN’s O’Leary Falls Victim to Faulty Transcript

Drop this into the category of: This could happen to anyone. In an interview broadcast Sunday by C-SPAN, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made the following comment: “I did go to law school. I didn’t practice law, but I did go to law school.” A writeup of the interview by ABC News’ Shushannah Walshe, however, got it wrong causing a Twitter mess for CNN’s Lizzy O’Leary. Walshe, who wrote up the interview, tweeted that the story had been corrected 15 minutes after being published and that she had been working off a transcript that got it wrong.

O’Leary scrubbed her initial tweet on the issue which called out Romney for saying that he had not gone to law school, despite Romney not actually saying that. “Uh, but he DID go to law school,” she had said, linking to Walshe’s writeup on Yahoo! News.

“The full quote kind of implies that he meant to say ‘I didn’t practice law,’ which is (I think) true,” one follower said in response. O’Leary replied that she believed that’s what Romney meant to say but that she “saw the full quote.”

Shortly thereafter O’Leary realized the error of her ways. “Did I get that Romney quote wrong? I will correct tweet if so,” she wrote. “Yeah. Check C-Span for the interview,” another follower replied. “He didn’t say it. He likely spoke too fast for the transcript.”

Then came the O’Leary’s admission: “I was wrong on Romney law school comment. Looks like mis-transcribed quote in posted story,” she tweeted, linking to C-SPAN’s original video. “Totally my fault for trusting a transcript without listening to the raw interview,” she said in a forthcoming followup.

O’Leary gets double points for acknowledging that she deleted her incorrect tweet: “Deleted inaccurate Romney tweet so it doesn’t bounce around,” she wrote.