Some of you may remember I run a small blog called The It's Hit List—its sole mission is to identify and publicize the frequent and improper usage of "it's"—a contraction of "it is"—as a possessive, which should only be used like this: "this article will soon explain its meaning."
I found an amusing instance today illustrating how similar news wire services are. Here is today's post from The It's Hit List:
Wrong:Fielding was responding to a 10 a.m. EDT deadline set by the Democratic chairmen, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Conyers, for the White House to explain it's privilege claim, prove that the president personally invoked it and provide logs of which documents were being withheld.
CNN posted a similar article, probably yanked from the same AP wire. Correct:Fielding was responding to a 10 a.m. ET deadline set by the Democratic chairmen, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, for the White House to explain its privilege claim, prove that the president personally invoked it and provide logs of which documents were being withheld.
Who knows if the original AP wire article was correct? CNN pays professional journalists and the AP wire is also written by professional journalists, so I'm betting that Yahoo News editors "corrected" the "mistake", i.e., the usage of "its" was correct before they added an apostrophe to it. Regardless, I've worked as a journalist so I know it's hard to make deadlines and be 100% accurate so if the AP wire journalists got it wrong, I can't blame them too much. Still, the final responsibility falls with their respective editors, so...
Cheers for CNN! Jeers for Yahoo News!