One thing was correct about the front page of Tuesday’s New York Post: It was an exclusive.

Early editions screamed, “KERRY’S CHOICE,” followed by, “Dem picks Gephardt as VP candidate.” The story carried no byline and cited no sources – and it also held no water. John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Tuesday chose North Carolina Sen. John Edwards as his running mate and not Missouri Rep. Richard Gephardt.

The Post’s gaffe got a gleeful response from the rival New York Daily News and drove dozens of local denizens to grab copies to sell. Later editions eliminated the story.

In a statement, Post editor Col Allan said, “We unreservedly apologize to our readers for the mistake.”

The Post’s banner headline echoed the infamous Chicago Daily Tribune front-page declaration of “Dewey Defeats Truman” in 1948, as well as the Post’s “Bush Wins” edition the morning after the yet-to-be decided 2000 election.

Last month, the Tampa Tribune mistakenly ran an editorial saying the Tampa Bay Lightning had lost Game 7 of hockey’s Stanley Cup. That was similar to the Post’s editorial saying the Red Sox had beaten the Yankees in last year’s American League playoffs, which also was false. Both papers blamed production errors.

Apparently unable to resist, the Daily News on Tuesday sent a case of Cold Duck to the Post with a note that said, “Have a nice day,” presumably a reference to a billboard near the Daily News that shows the Post’s rising circulation and the sentence, “Have a nice day.”

Meanwhile, entrepreneurs seized copies for sale on eBay, which had more than 500 listings of the editions by Tuesday afternoon.



(c) 2004, Newsday.

Visit Newsday online at http://www.newsday.com/

Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

AP-NY-07-06-04 1958EDT



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