National newspaper calls Idaho… Iowa
KTVB.COM – by Kelsey Jacobson
BOISE — It is a commonly made mistake. A slip of the tongue, or an error made by the misinformed that can make an Idahoan cringe. Even so, it isn’t a mistake that is usually made on a national level, by a publication seen by millions of eyes over the course of one day.
Where to start… where to start…
First of all, I can’t imaging any scenario where millions of people would be reading about something going on in Idaho, unless there was some sort of French Fry shortage reported by the Porkchop Post Intelligencer. That would make huge news. Oprah would do shows about it. Ruben Studdard would sing songs about it. Crying people would be picketing McDonalds, holding up edible signs. The only thing that would stop some sort of a march would be the fact that people would actually have to march.
Secondly, what’s an Idahoan? Does people hailing from a state that’s populated by dozens of people really need a moniker? Why not just continue to go by militia? Idahoan sounds like a misspelled Ebonics verb used to describe a promiscuous night at the club.
Example… “What are you doing tonight?” “Oh, the usual. Drop the baby off at my mommas house, get me some White Castle, then off to the club to drink some Hennessey, find me a hot thug to grind on the dancefloor, then off to the Super 8, you know… Ibehoin”
We live in Idaho, not Iowa. But according to the Wall Street Journal, they are one and the same.
I don’t get it. They’re not? I’d be much more likely to believe the Wall Street Journal than Farmer Fred. That’s like saying, “I live in a tent, not a teepee”, or “I’m homeless, not a street person”, or “I’m a West Virginian, not a Meth Addict”, or “We live in Idaho, not Iowa”, oh right, that’s already been covered.
A mistake made in a headline of Thursday’s paper read, “Bankruptcy for Iowa County.” The dateline directly below the headline, which reads “Boise County, Idaho,” may clear up the confusion, but the obvious error is still there. And in a newspaper, it is permanent.
How much of a debt could Iowa County have really had? My Verizon past due amount is probably more than whatever they owe. They probably borrowed sixty-two dollars and fifty-eight cents from the owner of Uncle Jo’s Waffle & Chicken House, and when an unknown man clad in overalls showed up at city hall branding a shotgun and a frying pan threatening to smash and shoot all kinds of stuff, they got scared (afeared?) and filed for bankruptcy.
So how does a mistake of this magnitude happen in such a prominent and reliable national newspaper? We called the author of the story, Stan Rosenberg, to find out.
How are so many three-syllable words used to describe anything involving Idahoans?
Rosenberg told us he works for the Dow Jones Newswire, and his story was picked up by the Wall Street Journal.
Why would they ask Stan Rosenberg, an obvious Jew if I know Jews, which I most certainly do, to write an article about a place where no Jew has ever been, has ever heard of, will ever go to, and if the great people of the state of Idaho had their way, would even exist?
“Occasionally, what happens is, sometimes frequently they pick up our stories maybe in an edited format for the Wall Street Journal, maybe in its original format,” Rosenberg said over the phone. “Somewhere between one and the other, the state changed. We had it correctly on the wire, and incorrectly in the paper.”
Next time they should just make the article simpler. Something like “Idaho Broke. Will work for food.”
Stan admits when he learned of the error Thursday, he immediately checked to make sure he wasn’t the person who made the mistake.
That doesn’t sound like someone affiliated with Wall Street, trying to deflect blame and evade responsibility.
“In the beginning I said, ‘Oh my god, I really blew this one.’ But it wasn’t me,” Rosenberg laughed. “But I don’t know who it was so I sent them back a note… …I asked them to run a correction. I don’t know what they’re going to do about it, but you know, I apologize for that.”
The only part of that paragraph that I actually believe is the part about him laughing.
In talking with Rosenberg, it was clear he does know the difference between Idaho and Iowa — but even someone who knows, isn’t immune to a slip of the tongue.
Good to clear up the fact that a reporter for a major publication actually knows that there are two different states, one named Idaho, and the other name Iowa. He also stated that he does in fact know that sentences start with capital letters and end with periods.
“This is the first municipal bankruptcy filing this year, if I’m correct,” said Rosenberg. “Certainly the first in Iowa in a long time.”
That’s because this is the first year that Iowa started using banks.
Aside from the Idaho-Iowa mistake, Rosenberg did bring up some valid concerns regarding counties that file for bankruptcy.
Did he suggest a bake sale or a car wash to raise money before taking more drastic measures? Maybe they could have come up with a new brand of Moonshine.
Rosenberg primarily writes about public finance. He reported on the bankruptcy filing of Vallejo, California in 2008. He said the county did not benefit much by filing for bankruptcy, because they ended up with millions of dollars in legal fees when it was over.
Which coincidentally all went to Rosenberg’s brother, who happened to be the lawyer hired to facilitate the bankruptcy.
“Bankruptcy doesn’t really get rid of the debts. No guarantee. It’s not like you or I filing for bankruptcy on a personal level,” said Rosenberg. “This is municipal bankruptcy, the debts don’t really go away. They just have to find a different way to pay them.”
If the debts don’t go away, what exactly is the point here? Did they file for bankruptcy just so they could see their state’s name in the newspaper? Much like someone who robs a Krispy Kreme while wearing flip-flops.
Rosenberg said he is interested in the Boise County bankruptcy situation because it is such a small county, and it is the first municipal bankruptcy filing so far this year. He plans to follow the story, and hopes if the Wall Street Journal picks it up again, it might be more careful when it comes to the “minor” details.
I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact this mistake gave him his fifteen minutes of fame. That’s like Richard Hatch saying he continues to follow Survivor to see shirtless guys frolicking in the woods. Ok, maybe that wasn’t the best analogy.