What Fresh Hell Is This?

September 17, 2009

I Guess They Pulled Jack Kelly's Column

Yesterday, I wasn't sure what had happened to Jack Kelly's most recent column. Now I have a better idea. It's my understanding the column was pulled off-line. It was on-line Sunday at the Post-Gazette and by Wednesday, it was gone.

Matt Hogue (of the Pittsburgh Hoagie) posted this comment on my blog post:
I was told by someone on the PG Editorial board that it was pulled.

Jack Kelly also sent me the following E-mail:

"I phrased the sentence poorly. I wanted to convey that it was the Rodney King riots that radicalized him. We've issued a correction."
The sentence Jack admits to phrasing poorly is this one:
Mr. Jones was arrested during the rioting in Los Angeles in 1992 that followed the acquittal of the police officers who beat Rodney King.
If he was aiming to show what radicalized Jones, he was way way off. But this is not the place to rehash Jack's column. I did that already. On Sunday. And then they pulled the column off the website.

Not sure how rare pulling a column is in newspaper columnist-ville, but I suspect it doesn't happen often. Usually they post a correction and move on. This time they yanked the whole thing.

Should I be gloating now? Not sure.

So why did they pull the column off the P-G's site? Who knows? Could it be they pulled it because it had more errors than usual? Could it be that they're suddenly more sensitive to charges that they don't fact-check Jack? I don't know for sure but let's hope so.

And if my blog posting played some small part in this, then I am gratified beyond belief. Having a column at a major metropolitan newspaper does not give anyone the authority to make stuff up or to otherwise spread unfounded rumors as truth. As the man said, you're entitled to your own opinion but you're not entitled to your own facts. Holding a columnist's feet to the fire and demanding his (or her) "facts" more or less conform to reality is a good thing. A necessary thing. A thing to be done more often regardless of political the columnist's ideology.

Perhaps NOW Jack will check his sources a little better. Perhaps NOW Jack's editors will watch over his shoulder a little more diligently.

Today, I'll be smiling a little more today thinking about how they yanked Jack's column off-line.

And yea, I'll be gloating a little.


spork_incident said...

Perhaps NOW Jack will check his sources a little better.

Thanks, Dayvoe, I needed a laugh this morning!

A Spork in the Drawer

Bram Reichbaum said...

Since you correct his columns every week, I'd say *gloating* is out of the picture, since that only improves your record to 1-358. However, since your weekly hammering may have heightened the P-G editors' sense of vigilance and shame (mostly shame), I'd say a deep sense of satisfaction is in order. Can't wait to read the print retraction / correction.

And what's up with the Toledo Blade? Are they okay with falsely accusing people of having been arrested when they were not?