Rather than tendering a straightforward apology to James Watt for smearing him with the phantom quote Bill Moyers put in his mouth, the editors of the Minneapolis Star Tribune vow “to report on further developments in the Grist inquiry” for the Watt quote. In their (O.J.) Simpsonite search for the quote, Grist and its fans at the Star Tribune may want to enlist the assistance of Frank Lockwood. Lockwood writes:
I’ve been reading your reporting on the Watt-Moyers matter with great interest. I am a newspaper reporter and journalism fellow at the University of Michigan and I wrote a story about the quote’s migration from internet fiction to the mainstream press.
In the book that contains the Watt quote, the author also complains that “government spies” are tapping his phone and reading his mail and watching his videos. The reason? In his prior book, “Don’t Call Me Brother,” he says the FBI is making his life difficult because “I had knowledge about the relationship between Marilyn Monroe and the United States Government, and the reports of her alleged murder and her sexual relationship with John and Robert Kennedy. It seems that the object of the game was to discredit me so thoroughly that, if I ever chose to talk, my testimony would carry no weight. When my popularity as a public personality increased, so did the fear of disclosures by me, in official circles.” (“Don’t Call Me Brother,” p. 306, and “Setting the Captives Free,” p. 281.)
As best as I can tell, the “last tree falls” quote didn’t enter the mainstream media until the fall of 2004. If you’re interested, my story is at “News from Nowhere.”
News from nowhere, brought to you by the nobodies of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.