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Oops: Alessandra Stanley Imagines a Farewell 'Highlight Reel' for Ann Curry

Alessandra Stanley, the New York Times error-prone television-beat reporter, messed up another tribute to a fellow journalist. The paper attached this corection to the online version of Stanley's Friday "TV Watch" column on Ann Curry's final appearance as host of the NBC Today show:

The TV Watch column on Friday, about Ann Curry’s final appearance as a host on NBC’s “Today” show, referred erroneously to a highlight reel of Ms. Curry. The highlight video was available on the show’s Web site; it was not shown on the television show Thursday and should not have been included as part of the critique of Thursday’s show. The highlight reel was created last year, when Ms. Curry started in her role as host, not in connection with her departure.

Stanley's Friday article included this section. The incorrect paragraph in bold below appeared in the original article but was deleted from the corrected version online:

When Meredith Vieira was brought back as a special “surprise” guest in April, Ms. Curry had to sit, silent and smiling, alongside Mr. Lauer and Ms. Vieira as they revealed that Ms. Vieira would be his co-star for much of the London Olympics coverage. Mr. Lauer did not say then what role, if any, Ms. Curry would play. On Thursday he tried to cheer her up by reminding her that she would be reporting from the London Games as well -- as if consoling a college student despondent over being rejected by the top sorority.

Highlight reels are the gold watch of television news, and “Today” showed a long, affectionate one of Ms. Curry, from her first days in local news to her trip to the South Pole, where she planted the NBC flag. It included goofy moments clowning on the set, and also a tableau that seemed -- under the circumstances -- somewhat insensitive. Ms. Curry, ebullient as ever, leaned in to Mr. Lauer, who was wearing an arm sling. “Don’t come anywhere near me with a hug,” he said, jokingly, but perhaps not entirely so.

Ms. Curry explained, somewhat sorrowfully, that she will stay at NBC News with “some fancy new titles” and a mandate to report “at a time when this country and this world needs clarity.”

Gawker has a theory:

How could that happen? Probably because if you watch the relevant Today show segment online, as opposed to, I don't know, on television, it autoplays the highlight reel from Curry's first day after the segment ends. This should be obvious to anyone watching carefully, though, since everyone is wearing different clothes and it's obviously an introductory, rather than a valedictory, segment.

The last time Stanley got in big trouble for mistakes also involved a paean to a journalist: Her tribute to the late Walter Cronkite contained seven errors.