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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Chronicle Inadvertently Posts Election Wrap-Up Article Online, Calls Winners

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 12:30 PM

click to enlarge 3_photo_sf_chronicle.jpg
Election day is Nov. 4. Today is Oct. 30. 

Oct. 30 is earlier on the calendar than Nov. 4 — on the Julian Calendar, the Gregorian one, and presumably, the Mayan one, too (though that one concluded in 2012). 

So, a Chronicle article wrapping up the results of that Nov. 4 election appearing online in late October is an eye-catcher. But, lo, that happened: 

 
chronelectiondummy.jpg


Under the headline "When rocket exploded, it took Oakland students' experiment with it," the paper posted — and hurriedly un-posted — this election template. 

Just as sportswriters churn out material during halftime in order to rapidly file postgame and media outlets had obituaries for Maya Angelou ready for deployment, the Chron established a template for election night. How it found its way online is uncertain; our calls to the paper have not yet been returned. 

The prognosticated losers in the above article, however, are likely not pleased. The David Chiu vs. David Campos Assembly race — called for Chiu by the Chron — is close enough that only a genius, a fool, or a foolish genius would wager on the outcome. The story also predicts that Proposition D is trailing as of press time — and things aren't looking good. 

It'll be intriguing to see how that turns out. 

While we're in the business of predicting the future, we foresee Chron editors calling us. And being disappointed we ran this story. 

Update, 1:11 p.m.: Chronicle managing editor Audrey Cooper responded to our query: 

As you know, every large media organization that covers large elections prewrites parts of the coverage to provide readers with background context on the race. We make sure that prewritten material is proofread by a team of editors in advance of the final results so we can be the first to post a complete story. In this case, human error led to us publishing it early. As soon as we were aware of the mistake, we took it down.


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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Bio:
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

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