Thursday, June 23, 2005

Washington Post Accidentally Kills/Retires Chief Justice Rehnquist

I'm reposting the below verbatim from fishbowlDC who picked it up from Phillyblog Fables of the Reconstruction, because to inside the Beltway wonks like me, its just that funny. As anyone who has ever worked at a major news organization knows, the biographies and obituaries of all major media figures (celebrities, popes, politicians, sports stars, etc.) are kept on file, just in case they happen to die or cause a major media event, and the story needs to be written and published online instantaneously. These "canned stories" usually leak out via the internet though, because people still haven't learned how to master the "send/receive" button on their Outlook (or in this case, their RSS feed).

Post Accidentally Kills/Retires Rehnquist

In one of those embarrassing gaffes that happen from time-to-time, the Washington Post yesterday accidentally moved its "William Rehnquist Dies/Retires" package over its RSS feeds.

While the stories themselves didn't show up and weren't posted, two stories and their ledes were readable by RSS subscribers. The headline on one article by Charles Lane read, "William Rehnquist Retires/Dies" and led with an anecdote from his days in grade school, another read "Rehnquist: A Justice's Journey," and a third was a round-up of key Rehnquist decisions.


Guess someone over at is still learning about this new-fangled "really simple syndication" stuff.

Thanks to Philly blog Fables of the Reconstruction for the a screenshot.

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