College Station paper apologizes after implying VP Pence's firing

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KTRK) -- A local newspaper is apologizing for an inaccurate headline implying that Vice President Mike Pence had been fired.

The Bryan-College Station Eagle's lead story on Tuesday morning was President Trump's appointment of Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his new national security adviser, less than a week after Michael Flynn's unceremonious resignation.

The paper's headline, however, replaced Flynn's name with Pence's, reading "Trump tabs McMaster to replace Pence."

Eagle editor Kelly Brown took to the paper's website on Tuesday afternoon to offer readers a heartfelt apology, likening the incident to the now-infamous 1948 Chicago Daily Tribune headline that erroneously announced the wrong winner of the previous day's presidential election.

"A copy editor responsible for editing and designing eight pages of local and wire copy last night made the mistake. It was one of 25 headlines he wrote during his shift," Brown explained.

"While we typically have another copy editor working the desk, we're currently shorthanded, which means fewer eyes making certain each sentence, every cutline and all headlines are accurate."

Brown underscored that the mistake was "not a deliberate untruth or an alternative truth," adding that the paper's offices had been flooded with accusations of fake news and liberal media bias, both of which she vehemently denied.

"I applaud The Eagle for taking ownership, and if nothing else, coffee room conversation for the day," one reader wrote on social media in response to the apology.

The article that accompanied the inaccurate headline was distributed by the Associated Press and did not contain any inaccuracies. The original headline distributed by the AP read "Trump taps military strategist as national security adviser."

It is not uncommon for news outlets -- including ABC13 -- to tweak headlines on AP stories, often for length considerations. null
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