... this, which is pertinent to this post here last week, appeared among this morning's New York Times Corrections:
An article on Sept. 21 about criticism of President Bush at the United Nations by President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran reported that Mr. Chavez praised a book by Noam Chomsky, the linguist and social critic. It reported that later, at a news conference, Mr. Chavez said that he regretted not having met Mr. Chomsky before he died. The article noted that in fact, Mr. Chomsky is alive. The assertion that Mr. Chavez had made this misstatement was repeated in a Times interview with Mr. Chomsky the next day.
In fact, what Mr. Chavez said was, “I am an avid reader of Noam Chomsky, as I am of an American professor who died some time ago.” Two sentences later Mr. Chavez named John Kenneth Galbraith, the Harvard economist who died last April, calling both him and Mr. Chomsky great intellectual figures.
Mr. Chavez was speaking in Spanish at the news conference, but the simultaneous English translation by the United Nations left out the reference to Mr. Galbraith and made it sound as if the man who died was Mr. Chomsky.
Readers pointed out the error in e-mails to The Times soon after the first article was published. Reporters reviewed the recordings of the news conference in English and Spanish, but not carefully enough to detect the discrepancy, until after the Venezuelan government complained publicly on Wednesday.
Editors and reporters should have been more thorough earlier in checking the accuracy of the simultaneous translation."
So it appears Chavez did not think Chomsky was no longer with us. I'm glad that's ckleared up now. But was Inquirer book critic out of line for commenting on a news item circulated by the New York Times? I don't think so. I'm hardly one to swear by the accuracy and probity of the Times at all times, but I don't assume something is wrong just because it appears there. Quite the opposite. Until I have reason to think otherwise, I presume that the Times's reporters and editors do the job they're paid to do and that what they report can be trusted.