You'd think as the Guardian's Sunday stablemate, a book review on the Observer's former editor David Astor would be pretty safe ground for the quality daily.
Alas not. This article: David Astor by Jeremy Lewis review – how the Observer’s celebrated owner-editor coped with being so rich, ended up producing one of the most epic corrections in the history of Fleet Street.
The most spectacular correction in newspaper history? Was anything in this Guardian article correct? pic.twitter.com/1xfKtskFqL— James Cornish (@cornishop) March 5, 2016
Here is the correction in full:
This article was amended on 4 March 2016 to correct a number of errors. In the article we suggested that William Waldorf Astor was named after a hotel, when in fact his name referred to the family’s native Rhineland village. He didn’t build Cliveden, as we suggested, but bought it, and he didn’t sack the editor of the Observer for spiking his contributions (although he did sack the editor of the Pall Mall Gazette, another Astor acquisition, for spiking his contributions). We said Katharine Whitehorn was women’s editor of the Observer when in fact she was a columnist. We said Patrick Leigh Fermor compared David Astor to Disney’s Pluto; Fermor actually compared the writer Philip Toynbee to that cartoon character. Terence Kilmartin replaced Jim Rose as Observer literary editor, not JC Trewin. During the war, David Astor didn’t merely suffer “a mild attack of dysentery” as suggested in the review. In fact he was wounded in action during a German ambush in the Ardennes. Terence Kilmartin is believed to have been involved in his rescue, and Astor was awarded the Croix de Guerre.