Two weeks after the New York Times absurdly characterized a Palestinian assailant’s butterfly knife as a “Boy Scout” knife, the newspaper has removed the reference and published a correction.
The original language of Jodi Rudoren’s Oct. 27 story, referring to an attempted attack that was stopped by alert Israeli security forces, stated:
“He was not carrying a knife, I saw everything,” a [Palestinian] witness insisted. “If they show a knife, they planted it.”
The Israeli police soon published a photo of a pocketknife, the kind Boy Scouts use, next to the slain teenager.”
The gratuitous aside about a “Boy Scout” knife has been removed from the story, and an awkwardly detailed correction now explains:
Correction: November 10, 2015An earlier version of this article referred imprecisely to the knife in the Israeli police photo. It is a butterfly knife, which is traditionally used as a weapon. The Boy Scouts of America does not explicitly ban such knives; it endorses pocketknives for general use, and does not sell butterfly knives in its official Scout shop. Butterfly knives are legal in some states, and knife policies are set by individual troops, so it is possible, though unlikely, that some troops approve them. But the knife pictured is not typically “the kind Boy Scouts use.”