Let's start out with what the Washington Times got right this morning:
1) Its story about the D.C. Council's budget deliberations correctly identified Kwame Brown as the panel's chairman.
2) The story correctly reflected Kwame Brown's position on taxes.
3) The story featured a cool quote from Kwame Brown showcasing his quasi-leaderly bravado: "I signed up for this," he told the Times, referring to the challenge of dealing with a tough budget year.
It would have been a slam dunk, in other words, if only the paper had gotten the right Brown in the photo above it.
Even cursory students of D.C. politics likely got a chuckle out of this one: Above the story was a nice photo of a contemplative Brown. Sulaimon Brown, that is.
Although both Browns have been known to dabble a bit in buffoonery, being identified in a news story as D.C. Council Chairman stands as something of a promotion for the Sulaimon chapter. He, after all, was an extremely minor candidate for mayor last year, holds no elective office, and has been embroiled in a strange controversy involving the Gray administration, from which he was fired this past winter.
Not hard to see how the photo mixup could have happened: Weekend shift, someone pulls the wrong photo, and presto — a big embarrassment right there on page A14.
That's about right, says Washington Times Metropolitan Editor Matthew Cella.
"It was pulled by the photo desk and the copy desk didn't catch it," he says. If only the photo had been squarely within the bounds of the story, says Cella, someone may have caught the snafu. That's because there's a different review track that applies to photos in a story vis-a-vis stories that sit aside a top-of-page pullquote, as does the Sulaimon shot.
Cella was careful to put in a call of apology to the office of Chairman Kwame Brown. "They weren't pleased but they were very understanding," he says.