In a statement to Media Matters, Solomon explained:
The Washington Times published the Chicago school deaths story in its print edition without a photo. The story likewise was uploaded to our Web platform by editors without a photo attached. At some point, our automated news Themes engine _ which was constructed to match related content on our Web site _ paired the AP photo to the Washington Times story in the Themes section of our Web site. An online editor later spotted the photo and added a short caption. That editor should have removed the photo from the site but did not recognize the inappropriate mismatching.
As soon as we learned about the problem, we detached the photo from the story. We regret that this technical glitch led to an inappropriate pairing of the photo with the story and we've taken steps both technologically and in our editorial process to try to avoid such an episode in the future. At no time did this newspaper intend to link the Obama children to the school story. We also hope that this glitch does not distract from the important and well-reported subject of the story: the crisis of school violence in one of the nation's largest cities.