No Dynasty in Singapore!

(cc photo by William Cho)

(cc photo by William Cho)

Strange correction in the NYT suggests it’s hard out there for a newspaper of record:

In 1994, Philip Bowring, a contributor to the International Herald Tribune’s op-ed page, agreed as part of an undertaking with the leaders of the government of Singapore that he would not say or imply that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had attained his position through nepotism practiced by his father Lee Kuan Yew. In a February 15, 2010, article, Mr. Bowring nonetheless included these two men in a list of Asian political dynasties, which may have been understood by readers to infer that the younger Mr. Lee did not achieve his position through merit. We wish to state clearly that this inference was not intended. We apologize to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong for any distress or embarrassment caused by any breach of the undertaking and the article.

Alex Kennedy provides the context, as apparently Singapore’s leaders sued using the strict libel laws that are the regime’s preferred tool for controlling the press and won a $114,000 judgment against the Times. The price of doing business in Singapore is that you need to compromise your coverage in some respects.