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So Sorry


Well, Steve Schwenk has his apology from New York Times public editor Daniel Okrent. It’s a gracious and considered ending – and this is the end – to a dispute that, honestly, should have been beneath the New York Times. But such is modern life.
I’m going to stick with my East-v-West Coast tech-savvy and comfortable v. tech-aware and still learning analysis on this one for a couple of reasons all of them nicely illustrated – although he didn’t mean it – in Okrent’s column yesterday.

He omits Schwenk’s name which means any computer-generated searches – and these days, that’s what we’ve got – will probably turn up Okrent’s ill-considered comments about Schwenk but not his gracious reconsideration. The idea on the paper’s side of things, of course, is to not repeat the error of the earlier week and make Schwenk’s life more miserable. In a world where search was done by hand or date, that might do the job but these days, it doesn’t. Okrent restates his e-mail policy – it’s public unless you tell him otherwise – but he doesn’t mention that Schwenk’s nasty bit of correspondence wasn’t sent to Okrent. It was part of an exchange with New York Times political writer Adam Nagourney who gave it to Okrent who published it over – says Schwenk – his objections.
Secondly, the letter-writer Okrent includes in this week’s column is Rogers Cadenhead, a well-known and regularly cited on-line presence, who subsequently wrote about his letter to the Times on his blog. Since the Times loves nothing more than identifying readers and since on-line pundits played a role in this little drama, doesn’t seem odd that Cadenhead’s wasn’t ID’d? Could they not have know? Yup. The might not have known. Which kind of tells you all you needed to know, no?

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 10:06 AM | Permalink

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