I encountered the following correction in a Washington Post article (about a bill being introduced in the Senate to change the federal law governing medical marijuana) today:
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post incorrectly referred to the agency in charge of drug enforcement. It is the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Some corrections point to mistakes that are very easy to understand. Other corrections are somewhat baffling. This is one of them; surely every person paid to report on national news understands that the federal agency in charge of drug enforcement is the DEA, right? That’s been true for more than a generation, and the agency and its policies are in the news regularly, so it’s not like it’s *obscure*.
I understand that nobody can know everything, and that people have to specialize to be able to handle the torrent of information available. Rational ignorance is a real thing, and it’s a reasonable thing … but is it really too much to ask that reporters working for one of the nation’s papers of record have a basic understanding of the topics they’re reporting on?