media accuracy watch
I held off mentioning this until I gave the Indianapolis Star the courtesy of informing them first, but I was amazed and appalled to read quotations attributed to me in the article just mentioned that I never said. Following is the text of a letter I just emailed to the Star.
March 21, 2003
The Indianapolis Star
cc: [Managing Editor, Ass't Managing Editor, Features]
Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you regarding Web logs for the article that appeared in this morning’s Star. (“Web log provides an outlet for opinions," March 21) It’s always an interesting experience to see one’s name in print.
However, I was shocked and dismayed to read quotes attributed to me consisting of words that I did not say. While the paraphrased statements attributed to me are reasonably accurate, both of the direct quotations are not only far from a verbatim statement from me, but they also don’t even reflect an accurate paraphrase of what I said.
To be specific, the quote "I feel launching an unprovoked attack on the dubious doctrine of self-defense when even supporters of the war admit there is no clear and present danger is just wrong" appears to have been made up of whole cloth. Although our conversation touched on various elements of those sentiments, I never uttered that sentence. Sadly, the quote confuses the doctrine of self-defense, which is hardly dubious, with my real objection, which is an unprovoked attack in the name of self-defense. And while I did say that about half my traffic is generated by search engine hits, and that I have a number of readers who return regularly, I never linked the two. Indeed, I doubt many of the search engine hits ever return once they discover my site does not contain what they’re looking for.
(continued in the next post)