… “An earlier version misstated the term Mr. Vidal called William F. Buckley Jr. in a television appearance during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. It was crypto-Nazi, not crypto-fascist. It also described incorrectly Mr. Vidal’s connection with former Vice President Al Gore. Although Mr. Vidal frequently referred jokingly to Mr. Gore as his cousin, they were not related. And Mr. Vidal’s relationship with his longtime live-in companion, Howard Austen, was also described incorrectly. According to Mr. Vidal’s memoir “Palimpsest,” they had sex the night they met, but did not sleep together after they began living together. It was not true that they never had sex.” [ NYT obituary following the death of writer Gore Vidal ]
*** And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how many mistakes the New York Times can make with an obituary they probably had at least 5-10 years to prepare … If only Gore Vidal was still around to eviscerate their efforts in person. One can only wonder how much faith to place on their latest rushed efforts out of … Damascus? Tehran? Kabul? etc. In truth, this is no more than the latest example of fact-checking in the age of instant re-writes. And had there not been a physical proof of their existence it is likely the errors would have been corrected digitally without acknowledgment that they had ever been committed to “paper”.