The New York Times Accidentally Invented a New Country, and the Internet’s in Love

Visit scenic Kyrzbekistan!

Headshot of David Griner

Sometimes a mistake is so embarrassing, it cycles all the away around the shame circle and becomes kind of awesome.

Today's case in point: Kyrzbekistan, a country accidentally invented by a New York Times piece that meant to reference the Central Asian nation Kyrgyzstan.

In fairness, the story is otherwise quite compelling and dramatic, telling how a climber escaped captivity by shoving an armed militant off a cliff. Unfortunately, the newspaper accidentally portrayed the events as happening in Kyrzbekistan, which has the unfortunate distinction of not being real.

"An earlier version of this article misidentified the country whose army chased Tommy Caldwell's kidnappers," notes the newspaper's online correction. "It was Kyrgyzstan, not Kyrzbekistan, which does not exist."

Or at least, it didn't exist before. Today it has its own Twitter feed and a Fodor's Guide worth of sarcastic tweets.

Beyond the parody account, the mockery has already begun to roll in:


@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."
Publish date: January 8, 2015 https://stage.adweek.com/creativity/new-york-times-accidentally-invented-new-country-and-internets-love-162226/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT
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