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NYT Alters Obit (Again) Without Correction


I can’t say this is out of the ordinary, as they changed WFB’s obituary numerous times without acknowledging it, but at what point do they realize that web versions of their pieces aren’t rough drafts?

The NY Daily News reports:

Readers had plenty of beef with the New York Times after an obituary of rocket scientist Yvonne Brill came off sounding sexist, some of them said.

The backlash forced The Times to change the obit online Saturday and scrub a reference to Brill’s cooking ability in the lead paragraph. It was replaced with her professional accomplishment as a “brilliant rocket scientist.”

The obit initially began: “She made a mean beef stroganoff, followed her husband from job to job and took eight years off from work to raise three children.”

Her son, Matthew Brill, called her “the world’s best mom.”

Brill died Wednesday at the age of 88 in Princeton, N.J., after suffering complications from breast cancer.

The Canada native rose the ranks as a scientist in the 1940s during a time when women in the field were few.

During her storied career, she patented a propulsion system that would later be used for communications satellites. She was also honored by NASA, inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame and presented with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama in 2011.

Those accomplishments weren’t lost on Times readers and bloggers, who slammed the opening of Brill’s obit.

The rest here.

And at the time of the writing of this post, the NYT has yet to acknowledge the multiple versions of Brill’s obituary.


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