Courtesy of Washington Post Ombudsman Deborah Howell, get the inside scoop on how the Post ended up running this correction:

An old photograph was mistakenly published in the Oct. 20 Style section with a Reliable Source item about Saturday’s National Italian American Foundation gala. The photo of the late Jack Valenti with Mel Brooks and Alan Alda was from the 2006 gala.

That correction, in the great ass-covering newspaper tradition, doesn’t pointedly state why this mistake was such a big one: By running the 2006 photo, the Post stated, in effect, that Valenti was still alive.(He died in April 2007.) A good corrections editor, in this situation, would insist that the item in plain English reflect the full scope of the screwup.