Sunday, December 13, 2009

Those Wacky Ethics of Greg Mitchell

Last Sunday, The Third Estate Sunday Review wrote "Liar Supreme: Greg Mitchell." Throughout the week, various e-mails came in declaring Third to be liars and to have faked a quote.

Holy-Third trap! Is this the zero hour for the Tantalizing Team? Have they at long last met a gritting end?

Among those writing was Lawrence Pascal who wanted to be quoted, "Mr. Mitchell may be a little more one-sided in the last two years but he is still an upstanding journalist and the proof can be found in the fact that to mock him you had to make up a line he did not write. You say he wrote that an ad claimed Barack was born in Africa. That's not what he wrote!!!!"

Last week's article included that Greg Mitchell wrote: "The Moonie paper, already beset by firings and departure of top editor -- see NYT piece today -- chose to run this ad related to Obama's birth--in Africa." Lawrence Pascal (and others e-mailing) insisted he wrote no such thing and that, if we'd use the link, we'd see that too.

We used the link. And, Holy Moly, he writes, "The Moonie paper, already beset by firings and departure of top editor -- see NYT piece today -- chose to run this ad related to Obama's alleged non-citzenship." (As notoriously bad spellers, we'll not pounce on his typo.)

We'd written that he was either unable to read an advertisement he was reproducing or he was a supreme liar.

But to use the link, we're the ones wrong!

Could it be???? Could we have been so wrong????

To the Third Cave!!!!!!

Nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-Third Estate!

In the Third Cave, using state of the art technology ("cached versions"), we not only pull up the current webpage


. . . we also pull up the original version.


Holy Correction Without Notification! Greg Mitchell, after being caught and corrected by us, changed his article to erase his mistake and failed to alert readers that (a) he'd made a mistake and that (b) he'd corrected his error.

For those unfamiliar with the rules of journalism (which may possibly include Greg Mitchell), that's not allowed. It's unethical.

We have no idea why, as he attempts to interest a buyer/savior in Editor & Publisher, Mitchell would risk his reputation on such a tiny matter but the reality is he has.

The reality is we were accurate in our quote of him last Sunday (as the second screen snap demonstrates).

We make mistakes and we're not objecting to the 'tone' of the e-mails from Greg Mitchell defenders. The idea for the piece last week came from Wally and Cedric and had ample support, however, Jim kicked it into the "maybe" pile until C.I. informed us that Mitchell would be out of work by week's end. (Hence our teaser.) At which point, it became a piece we had to write and Jess worked forever editing it when we had overwritten it. At any point in that, the quote could have lost a few words. (It didn't.) But to get the quote completely wrong? We've never made that mistake. But if we do and if we correct it, you'll find a note at the bottom of the article noting we've corrected our error. We wonder why a journalist of so many years, in fact an one-time editor of the soon-to-be defunct Editor & Publisher didn't grasp the need to do something similar.
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