updated 7/6/2004 11:08:51 PM ET 2004-07-07T03:08:51

It’s a common command in any newsroom: “Get it first. But get it right. But get it first.”  By that measure, Tuesday’s edition of the New York Post scored two out of three.

In a front-page gaffe reminiscent of the Chicago Tribune’s infamous 1948 “Dewey Beats Truman” headline, Tuesday’s Post trumpeted an “exclusive” report that Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry had picked Rep. Richard Gephardt as his running mate.

Instead, in an e-mail to his supporters , and then in a campaign stop in Pittsburgh, Kerry on Tuesday announced his selection of Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) to join the ticket.

Video: Post publishes wrong VP choice The Post noted that "many thought (Edwards) would be the one, when it was learned he had cut short a family vacation at Florida's Walt Disney World last week so he could rush to see Kerry in Washington.”

The paper also noted that Edwards’ “youthful appearance and sunny campaign style during the primary made him a favorite among party activists.”

But the Post dismissed Edwards as a possible choice, saying he “lacked experience. He is a one-term senator whose lack of seasoning in foreign affairs could have made voters nervous about his ability to assume the presidency during a war or an international crisis. “

The paper also noted that "it was thought that Kerry felt more comfortable with Gephardt than any of the other candidates."

Editor-in-chief Col Allan said he made the decision after the Post received information it believed to be correct. 

"We unreservedly apologize to our readers for the mistake," Allan said.

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