An article on Thursday about the latest Internet sensation of "Alex from Target," a picture of a teenager bagging merchandise at the retailer that went viral online, described incorrectly a subsequent Internet posting of "Kel from Good Burger." It was a frame from the 1997 film "Good Burger" starring the actor Kel Mitchell; it was not a photograph of a teenager in a job.
The above quote is a correction to The New York Times story, "Known as 'Alex From Target,' Teenage Clerk Rises to Star on Twitter and Talk Shows." I believe it's one of the finest corrections ever published in The New York Times. Let me explain why, then I'll offer a few corrections that rival its beauty.
Why is it a masterpiece?
The correction pertains to an already absurd story about a teenager who is only famous for looking like a more famous teenager, and who may be part of a stealth advertising campaign for his employer. So it's a story about what may be an advertisement disguised as a social media phenomenon about a celebrity who became a phenomenon through social media. But what elevates the story from commentary on the internet to microcosm of the internet, is that it should contain a troll of consumerism using a still from a movie literally about the perils of consumerism.
This story, correction and all, is the internet as ouroboros.
Everything else about the correction — the Kel Mitchell shout-out, the proper New York Times style referencing Good Burger, the phrase "a teenager in a job" — adds extra flavor just like Ed's secret sauce.
Has The New York Times posted a better correction?
An article on Monday about Jack Robinson and Kirsten Lindsmith, two college students with Asperger syndrome who are navigating the perils of an intimate relationship, misidentified the character from the animated children's TV show "My Little Pony" that Ms. Lindsmith said she visualized to cheer herself up. It is Twilight Sparkle, the nerdy intellectual, not Fluttershy, the kind animal lover.
An article last Sunday about the documentary maker Morgan Spurlock, who has a new film out on the boy band One Direction, misstated the subject of his 2012 movie "Mansome." It is about male grooming, not Charles Manson. The article also misspelled the name of the production company of Simon Cowell, on whose "X Factor" talent competition show One Direction was created. The company is Syco, not Psycho.
An earlier version of a summary with this article misstated the former title of Dick Cheney. He was vice president, not president.