“The Times acknowledges that no nudge was visible on the broadcast”

The good: The Times retracted.
The bad: That it took this long.
The ugly: Going all Bill Clinton on the word “nudge?” NYT, do you really expect us to believe that we werent’ supposed to take the phrase “Geraldo nudged the dude out of the way” to mean “Geraldo nudged the dude out of the way?” For shame. Seriously. Not only is this a bogus correction, but you are totally insulting the intelligence of your readers. The chance to do it gracefully, blown.

Complete text archived apr&#232s jump, for posterity.

Update: Just for argument’s sake, we went to an neutral third party: Merriam-Webster. It defines “nudge” as follows:

1 : to touch or push gently; especially : to seek the attention of by a push of the elbow
2 : to prod lightly : urge into action
3 : APPROACH
intransitive senses : to give a nudge

Okay, so fair enough: Geraldo’s nudge was an approach, hmmm? Which works well when you drop it into the offending sentence: “…he ‘approached’ an Air Force rescue worker out of the way …” Hmm. A little clunky, but run it by Louise Story‘s editor, I’m sure it’ll fly.

Corrections [NYT]


From the NYT Corrections, September 27, 2005:

The TV Watch column on Sept. 5 discussed broadcast journalists’ undisguised outrage at the failings of Hurricane Katrina rescue efforts. It said reporters had helped stranded victims because no police officers or rescue workers were around, and added, “Fox’s Geraldo Rivera did his rivals one better: yesterday, he nudged an Air Force rescue worker out of the way so his camera crew could tape him as he helped lift an older woman in a wheelchair to safety.”

The editors understood the “nudge” comment as the television critic’s figurative reference to Mr. Rivera’s flamboyant intervention. Mr. Rivera complained, but after reviewing a tape of his broadcast, The Times declined to publish a correction.

Numerous readers, however – now including Byron Calame, the newspaper’s public editor, who also scrutinized the tape – read the comment as a factual assertion. The Times acknowledges that no nudge was visible on the broadcast. (Go to Article)

Main Entry: nudge
Pronunciation: ‘n&j
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): nudged; nudg·ing
Etymology: origin unknown
transitive senses
1 : to touch or push gently; especially : to seek the attention of by a push of the elbow
2 : to prod lightly : urge into action
3 : APPROACH
intransitive senses : to give a nudge
– nudge noun
– nudg·er noun