Those who know me will understand that I have a problem with the concept of "fact", because everything is preceived through the filter of the observer's existiong set of beliefs, presumptions and values.
However, there are some "errors" which simply do stand out. They are particularly embarassing when they are by supposedly reputable commentators in major newspapers. I have two today, neither of which is a particularly significant "fact" in the argument being constructed, but each detracts from the substance of the article.
The first is Paul Sheehan writing in the SMH. He starts;
When Federal Parliament resumes for the first session of 2009 tomorrow, two large egos will face each other across the red chamber; two men with Napoleonic habits of thought and action.
Oh dear! The House of Reps is green like every other lower house.
The second is John Durie in the weekend Oz. Writing about the Telstra succession he writes;
The leading internal candidates, David Moffatt and Kate McKenzie, were considered last time around and rejected.
As talented as Ms McKenzie might be, there is no way she was considered for the CEO's job in 2005. In fact, at that point she wasn't even a direct report to the CEO, as she was still heading Regulatory and reporting to Bill Scales.
One really would hope for better on the simple bits.