MSM Transparency at its Best

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Aug 26, 2006 9:09 AM

It turns out all those vaunted editors and layers of fact-checkers are for changing the facts, after the fact.

Yesterday, I and a bunch of other bloggers wrote about this Confederate Yankee post, which took Editor and Publisher editor Greg Mitchell to task for making up news when he was a young reporter. Mitchell had already gotten himself in trouble with the blogosphere for misrepresenting the Fauxtography busts and seeming a little too sympathetic to the plight of newsfakers. It's no wonder. He was one himself.

Looks like he's at it again.
After several blogs excerpted this paragraph from Mitchell's confessional column:

Since the press seems to be in full-disclosure mode these days, I want to finally come clean. Back when I worked for the Niagara Falls (N.Y.) Gazette (now the Niagara Gazette), our city editor asked me to find out what tourists thought about an amazing local event:
Now, the paragraph reads a little differently (additions are in bold):
Since the press seems to be in full-disclosure mode these days, I want to finally come clean. Back in 1967, when I was 19 and worked for the Niagara Falls (N.Y.) Gazette (now the Niagara Gazette) as a summer intern, our city editor asked me to find out what tourists thought about an amazing local event:

Confederate Yankee has more on who owns the mediainfo site on which the article appears. I'll give you one guess who it is...

This is just so phenomenally stupid. CY rounded up all the blogs that excerpted the original article, and he has the link to the original article from the Wayback Machine. It's all there, for everyone to see. All of the incredible dishonesty. If it was pathetic to fake a story about tourists at Niagara, it's downright embarrassing to alter the confession after a couple people bring attention to it. Why did he bother confessing if you weren't willing to stand by the story?

Talk about desperation, huh? A couple of blogs highlight a three-year-old column, and someone feels the need to protect the editor of Editor and Publisher by altering the column they bring attention to? Runnin' scared.

Update: Everyone better start screen-capping everything this guy writes. Allah alleges there may be two new paragraphs in Mitchell's Aug. 24 column on bloggers, added to take a shot at Zombietime.

Update: Dan's goes to Google and comes up with evidence something was, indeed, added. See? Editors: altering the facts, after the fact. Classy.

Update: Ali Bubba has this to say about my dad's and my coverage of the Mitchell story yeterday:

It's the Double Ham Whammy!
The Ham Slamwich!

Hee.