'I'm Mortified': Philly Newspaper Mistakes Biles for Douglas | NBC 7 San Diego
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'I'm Mortified': Philly Newspaper Mistakes Biles for Douglas

The columnist whose piece the photo appeared in says she's trying to figure out how the mistake happened. Daily News editor apologizes

Whoops! The Philadelphia Daily News mistakenly ran a photo of Simone Biles next to a column about fellow gymnast Gabby Douglas. The paper apologized.

A Philadelphia Daily News columnist has been left "mortified" after the paper mistakenly printed a photo of Simone Biles alongside her story about Gabby Douglas in Wednesday's edition.

Ronnie Polaneczky penned a column about the onslaught of mean comments Douglas has been receiving on social media during the summer games in Rio.

The piece was the Daily News' cover story, and when readers opened to the column, they found a large photo of Biles, mid-leap, smack in the center of the copy. A caption reads: 'Gabby Douglas: Olympic gold medalist, need we say more?'

"It makes you want to bash your head against a wall," Polaneczky told NBC10. "I'm mortified."

In the piece titled "She Can Vault Over the Vitriol," Polaneczky writes directly to Douglas, celebrating the young, gold-winning Olympian, saying the negative comments mean she's doing well.

Douglas has described the online hate messages about her facial expressions, her hair and how she stood during a rendition of the national anthem as "really hurtful."

Polaneczky doesn't handle the paper's layout or choose which photos are used. But she said she's trying to figure out how the mixup happened.

A photo of Biles also appeared in the online story Wednesday morning. It was quickly changed when the mistake was noticed, Polaneczky said.

The Philadelphia Daily News, like other newspapers across the country, has been saddled with declining circulation and ad revenue. There have been several rounds of layoffs amid a series of ownership changes. The paper's newsroom staff recently underwent a merger with those at the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philly.com.

Last year, the Daily News laid off five of its seven full-time news copy editors.

A combined copy desk handles editions of the Inquirer and Daily News.

In a tweet, Michael Days, editor of the Daily News, apologized for the mistake.

Polaneczky hopes people still read the column even after seeing the photo, adding that she's a huge admirer of Douglas.