Sorry UC Merced Graduates — It Never Happened

On June 23, the Los Angeles Times ran a story headlined: “Michelle Obama Launches Volunteer Initiative in San Francisco.”

The first paragraph of the story says this:

“On her first visit to California as first lady, Michelle Obama on Monday helped volunteers construct a school playground here on a site that has been barren for years.”

That’s harsh news for this year’s graduates of the University of California at Merced who on Saturday May 16 were under the mistaken impression that the First Lady of the United States gave them a 29-minute commencement speech.

The apparently erroneous report in Sunday May 17’s San Francisco Chronicle records the very gifted woman masquerading as the First Lady saying this after the welcoming ovation from the university’s first four-year class:

“A few people may be wondering: Why did I choose the University of California in Merced to deliver my first commencement speech as first lady? Well, let me tell you something. The answer is simple: You inspired me. You touched me.”

In light of the June 23 Los Angeles Times article, the Chronicle, no doubt, deeply regrets its error.


Filed under: Venting


  1. No question about it–the Chron has gone steeply downhill since they lost their ace reporter.

    Comment by Rick Pratt — 6.25.2009 @ 12:07 pm

  2. Nicely done, Greg. Nicely done.

    Comment by Andrea Jackson — 6.25.2009 @ 12:34 pm

  3. Hey, Dr. Lucas, wasn’t it you who always said it wasn’t news until you read it in the LA (By God) Times?

    BTW, at least we DID run a correction the next day (and, for once, I wasn’t responsible for either the article or the correction). Also, BTW, the correction ran in a better spot — A-4 — than the article; one of those rare instances where more Angelenos may have read the correction than the actual mistake:

    Wednesday, June 24, 2009


    Home Edition, Main News, Page A-4
    National Desk
    1 inches; 45 words
    Type of Material: Correction

    Michelle Obama: An article in Tuesday’s Section A on Michelle Obama’s visit to California to promote a summer volunteer initiative said it was her first visit to the state as first lady. It was not. In May, she was the commencement speaker at UC Merced.

    © Copyright 2009 Los Angeles Times

    Comment by Eric Bailey — 6.25.2009 @ 12:47 pm

  4. Thanks Eric. I tended to say that more when I was employed by the Times, less so during the 19 years at God’s newspaper. xoxox

    Comment by admin — 6.25.2009 @ 1:40 pm

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