Virginia Newspaper Apologizes for Disastrously Wrong Headline on ‘McAuliffe’s Bribery Convictions’

RICHMOND, VA - NOVEMBER 07: Incumbent Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) and Governor-ele
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After the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the bribery convictions of former Republican Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, a Virginia newspaper found itself apologizing for the major mistake of transposing the current Democratic governor’s name with McDonnell’s in a headline screaming, Terry “McAuliffe’s Bribery Convictions Tossed.”

The newspaper, The Free Lance-Star of Fredericksburg, Virginia, was forced to put out an apology blaming the embarrassing mistake on a “new software system” it had recently implemented.

Even with the excuse of the “software system” delivered, the paper said its headline transposing the governors’ names was an “embarrassing error,” and they had “failed to live up to the standards our readers expect. And for that, we sincerely apologize.”

The paper went on to reveal it was hiring additional editors to try and make sure such a major embarrassment would never happen again.

The confusion came after Governor McDonnell had all his bribery convictions thrown out by the U.S. Supreme Court. Some may say that McDonnell and McAuliffe are easy to transpose, both starting with that Scottish “Mc.”

But it might be doubly amusing seeing as how the recently-deposed Republican governor (McDonnell) had all his bribery convictions erased while the now-serving Democratic governor (McAuliffe) is himself currently under investigation for corruption.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston, or email the author at


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