August 6, 2004

by Reb Yudel
Germans Blame Woody Allen

Everyone covers their behind by blaming "software." But leave it to Germans to throw Woody Allen into the mix.

From the London Guardian, "Software snag costs paper its independence":

Germany's leading liberal newspaper, the Frankfurter Rundschau, suffered acute embarrassment yesterday after the all-important prefix in the word "independent" mysteriously fell off its masthead.

What appeared to be an act of sabotage followed the paper's controversial acquisition in May by the ruling - but deeply unpopular - Social Democrat party, led by the chancellor, Gerhard Schröder. Thousands of copies of Monday's edition were pulped after editorial staff noticed the "un" in "unabhängige Tageszeitung", or independent newspaper, had vanished from the front page, changing its meaning to "dependent newspaper".

Yesterday the paper's executives denied the widely held suspicion that a disgruntled employee was responsible. Instead, staff blamed the error on a photo of Woody Allen. It has inadvertently caused a technical hitch, they said.

"It was a mistake caused by our software. It wasn't sabotage," the paper's spokesman, Jürgen Metkemeyer, insisted. "Nobody is going to be sacked."