Oops, LA Times misquotes WYO Governor
Quotes Freudenthal saying wolf is a ‘federal dog’ not worthy of protection
December 28, 2005
A Los Angeles Times article on Tuesday on wolf delisting wrongly attributed a quote to Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal in a front page story. The story quoted Freudenthal as saying Wyoming "now considers the wolf as a federal dog," unworthy of protection. The article entitled, "Wolves Thrive but Animosity Keeps Pace", was written by Times Staff writer Julie Cart.
The article states, "In Wyoming, for example, Gov. Dave Freudenthal last April decreed that the Endangered Species Act is no longer in force and that the state "now considers the wolf as a federal dog," unworthy of protection. The governor's declaration reflects the views of hunters and ranchers that the wolves are decimating elk herds and devouring cattle and sheep. Some rural residents say they fear that wolves may prey on children. Idaho, home to the largest population of wolves in the West, has been the least welcoming. Officials say hundreds of wolves have been shot, in violation of federal law. A recent spate of poisonings has not only killed wolves, but dozens of ranch dogs and family pets that ingested pesticide-laced meatballs left along wildlife trails, state wildlife managers say."
The LA Times printed an easy-to-miss correction on Wednesday with the article, leaving the original article intact without removing the incorrect quote. The correction was also not placed right next to the inaccurate paragraph in the original article. The Times didn't appear to be too serious about correcting the article or making sure the reader was aware that Wyoming's Governor did not say what their writer quoted him as saying.
Here is the correction:
"FOR THE RECORD:
Gray wolves —An article in Tuesday's Section A about tensions over the federal effort to reintroduce wolves into parts of the West wrongly attributed to Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal a statement that Wyoming considered the Endangered Species Act no longer in force and "now considers the wolf as a federal dog." The statement, which was circulated on the Internet, was purportedly from Freudenthal but was in fact a hoax."
According to an online story by NBC Newschannel 6 in Pocatello, Idaho, the Times reporter apparently used a quote from a fake news story that was intended as an April Fools’ joke by an outfitter in Afton, Wyoming.
Wolves Thrive but Animosity Keeps Pace (LA Times, www.latimes.com, 12/27/05)
Paper Prints Fake Quote From Wyoming Governor (NBC Newschannel 6, www.kpvi.com 12/28/05)