Joe Carter of The Evangelical Outpost usefully rounds up the blogosphere’s commentary on Nick Coleman’s defamatory diatribe against us in the Minneapolis Star Tribune yesterday: “Megaphones without oversight: Blog swarms, opinion storms, and brand destruction.” In addition to rounding up the blogosphere’s commentary, Carter also applies the Hewitt doctrine to yesterday’s events.
I spoke yesterday with Coleman’s editor at the Star Tribune to complain about the factual inaccuracies in Coleman’s column and to ask the Star Tribune to run corrections. Calling Coleman a “megaphone” would be far too kind, but my conversation with the editor persuades me that the “without oversight” portion of his description of us applies more to Coleman than it does to us.
Among other things, the editor advised me that Coleman’s attack on us involved no reporting, and that the column’s factual misrepresentations were to be read in that light. Moreover, certain of the misrepresentations were to be construed as sarcasm rather than taken at face value.
Finally, according to the editor, Coleman’s false assertion that he didn’t know and we didn’t say whether we might be on the take from some campaign, political party or anonymous benefactor, appeared to violate no Star Tribune standard. In his meeting with Coleman after my discussion with the editor yesterday morning, Coleman had told the editor that he “assumed” we received a stipend from the Claremont Institute. (Wrong. As we expressly stated here in response to Coleman’s slander earlier this month, “we are not paid by anyone” for our work on the site. What part of “not” doesn’t Coleman understand?)
I asked the editor what standards Coleman’s column was subject to at the Star Tribune. He said he didn’t know; he would have to research the answer to that question and get back to me. But they do have standards, which is of course a relief!
UPDATE: Jim Geraghty has some excellent thoughts on the Strib’s abdication of responsibility for the paper’s accuracy.
HINDROCKET adds: Chris Muir’s invaluable Day By Day puts the “controversy” in what I think is the right context, namely, the desperate struggle of a little-known and out of touch columnist for recognition. This is tomorrow’s strip; Chris kindly sent us a preview and granted us permission to post it. Click to enlarge:
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