Once a journalist, always a journalist

My girl Olivia, mommy extraordinaire pictured here sitting next to me in 2001, is regretfully no longer working as a journalist, but that kind of instinct isn’t something you can easily flush out of your blood. It may have only up for 51 seconds, but Olivia saw it and tipped it to Fishbowl DC.

What was the snafu? Oh, only that the Post declared John Edwards was suspending his White House bid:

The Democratic presidential candidate had already announced that he was continuing his campaign, despite the recurrence of his wife’s cancer, when washingtonpost.com put up a headline at 12:32:20 p.m. yesterday: “John Edwards Suspends White House Bid.”

By 12:33:11 it was down–replaced by “Edwards: Wife’s Cancer is Back”– but not because anyone had caught the mistake.

“You don’t like a bad story on the Web site for one second or 51 seconds,” said Jim Brady, executive editor of washingtonpost.com. “It’s embarrassing it got out there.”

Especially embarrassing because I reported in The Post yesterday that Politico.com and Reuters, each quoting an unnamed source, had carried pieces that Edwards was going to suspend his campaign before the former senator’s news conference in North Carolina. The news was already out at the time of The Post’s online screwup.

Nice catch, Olivia!