Somehow I missed the odd reference to some guy named “Bill Graham” in The New York Times article on Obama’s desire to expand the role of religious groups in combating the nation’s social problems. Thankfully, the blog Between Two Worlds picked up the reference:
While evangelical voters, a sizable minority, generally vote strongly Republican, Mr. McCain has had a shaky relationship with the group. He met Sunday with one of the country’s best-known evangelicals, Bill Graham, and his son, Franklin, for what was described as an “excellent conversation” but secured no endorsement.
Between Two Worlds also notes that presumed Republican Presidential candidate John McCain recently referred to the evangelist as “Bill Graham,” which may be where the NYT picked up the reference.
I am aware that The New York Times prefers to address individuals by their full names. But while William Franklin Graham Jr., Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, is the preacher’s full name and title, who is doesn’t know that he is most commonly known as simply “Billy Graham?” I can’t tell if this is a case of a reporter’s (or editor’s) ignorance or simply a typo that could be blamed on McCain. Perhaps Billy Graham is known by those closer to him as “Bill?”
Photo of Billy Graham in April 1966 used under a Wikimedia Commons license.