ABC News: Unlucky in Love

Love means never having to source your sweetie.

With all the catastrophic events in the news lately, sometimes ABC World News Tonight can seem like one long brow-knitting session when Elizabeth Vargas is anchoring. Happily, on Tuesday last week, Vargas had at least one amusing, heartwarming story to deliver: the tale of the postcard that 97-year-old Evelyn Greenawald of Anamosa, Iowa, received from her daughter, Sheri—27 years after Sheri mailed it to her from Germany. An image of the postcard flashed across the screen as Vargas related the story, called “Snail Mail.” Vargas then delivered the story’s charming kicker: “Her daughter was writing to her to tell her mother that she’d fallen in love.”

Awwww, that’s so nice, we thought—little TiVo buddy, let’s go back and freeze-frame that postcard and read what Sheri actually wrote: “Dear Mom & Dad, Am in Wurzburg with John & Lori having a great time. I’m in love with Europe. Will return to Paris the 24th...” and so on. Er, not quite the parental notification of romantic involvement that non–DVR-equipped viewers might have assumed from the ABC report.

An ABC News spokesperson, when asked about the discrepancy, sighed and said, “It said that she had fallen in love. We failed to mention it was with an entire continent.”

A quick Nexis check turned up an Associated Press dispatch from the day before.

“Sheri had sent a postcard,” the AP reported on Oct. 10, “telling her mother how she fell in love with Europe, would be in Paris soon and to ‘keep in touch.’” More of a “wish you were here” message, not a “reserve the chapel, I found Mr. Right” alert.