The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Thursday, February 12, 2004

Another unfathomable rule in the world of journalism. Or is it?

Remember the Michael Massing article on Judith Miller (last mentioned here on February 10)?

Miller, I noted, had said she had been misquoted by Massing.

Then, Massing wrote to Romenesko - also on February 10 (no permalink) - to say that
Judith Miller's claim that my article in the New York Review of Books misquoted her is completely without foundation. Per our agreement, I checked every quote with her prior to publication. She approved each and every one.

Fair enough, then.

Except that some poor sap out in Austin, TX, Arnold Garcia of the Austin American-Statesman, has been hung out to dry for doing a rather similar thing [1].

The idea of negligent failure to check is one the layman could readily accept as one of the drawbacks of journalism done by human beings (within a generous definition of the expression). But that there is actually a rule saying the hack must not check - that's the poster-boy for counter-intuitive. Or, utterly perverse, if you will...

  1. It's a cause célèbre I haven't mentioned here because it bored me, and Garcia's paper is subscription-only. Damned Podunk rags...

    Willy Stern in the Nashville Scene has the story.

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