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The staff at this newspaper has been focusing on the 200th anniversary of the Arkansas Gazette with reports and specials and Perspective sections, and we'll count down to the final day of celebration in November. Our friends over on the news side also have produced special house ads featuring pages of the newspaper from years ago. Interesting ain't the word. More like fascinating for newspaper geeks.

Celia Storey, that expert in old news (and not just old news) published an item the other day to go along with the Feb. 26, 1822, front page. The paper that day featured revolution(s) south of the border, a piece about the "new" Louisiana Purchase and, please, no COD letters to the editor.

Also, this from Celia Storey's explanation of that day's paper: "The editorials included a retraction of false local news: A paper in Port Gibson, Miss., disputed the Gazette's report Nov. 10 that Choctaws had murdered nine surveyors there. The Gazette's source for the story must have been hoaxed, the editorial said."

Oh, but for the grace of God. We know exactly how the writer must've felt, writing that correction. It's a combination of embarrassment and anger. On something like that, you can't just slam your hand on the desk and bark, "That's our style, dammit!" But a good paper corrects the record. Always has, always will.

It's still mortifying to fall for something like that, on such a vexatious story. Trust us. Something tells us the editor had to make a stop at the saloon on his way home that night. Bless his heart.

Editorial on 05/09/2019

Print Headline: Fake news nothing new

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