Tucked away on the Mail's front page yesterday was this little nugget - a whole live correction:
In a satirical article on January 12 and on the morning of 2 February we mistakenly referred to Broadmoor hospital as a prison and suggested in the first story that it had padded cells.
We are happy to make clear that Broadmoor does not have any cells.
As a high security hospital it supports patients suffering from serious mental health problems accommodated on wards.
In addition, Ian Brady has never been a patient at Broadmoor. Our online stories have been adjusted to omit these errors which we regret.
Which master satirist was responsible for this lack of research? It wouldn't be one of the highest paid journalists in Britain, would it? Well, you know the answer to that already, don't you. But I do love the 'we', as if to imply that it's a group effort producing the bi-weekly emissions of Richard Littlejohn. They've changed the article on the Mail site, but of course in the internet age these things are widely disseminated from the first publication, and it's just a click away online:
Guests could check in to a padded cell for a bit of peace and quiet; stay in the Ian Brady suite, named after the Moors Murderer; or relax with a screwdriver in the Yorkshire Ripper cocktail bar.
Meanwhile, the [pounds sterling]20million raised from the sale would build a brand-new Broadmoor nearby, modelled on the Hotel California.
You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.
All that effort, just for a fairly flimsy joke. But that's why it's important for big news organisations to get it right - what you say is taken as being right, even when it isn't, and widely distributed before someone's had the chance to write in and complain. It might be a ho-ho-hilarious article about Broadmoor one day; it might be something much more serious the next. You'd think, perhaps, that one of the most wonderfully remunerated writers in Britain could do some research - or at least pay a few lackeys to do it for him - but no...
Spotter's badge: @Roxy_Hart