Joanne M. Despres jdespres at MERRIAM-WEBSTER.COM
Wed Jul 17 13:51:53 UTC 2002

I (and I'm sure others on this list) can vouch for Rick Kennerly's
statement that pen-and-ink writers do quite a lot of reshaping and
re-contextualizing of original statements.  One Monday morning I
was very surprised to learn from a colleague that I'd been quoted in
William Safire's column the previous day.  Turned out he'd quoted
from a post I wrote to this list!   The way the column read, though,
it sounded for all the world as though he'd talked to me.  Not only
that, but he went on, after quoting the fact reported in the posting,
to make exactly the opposite argument to the one that I was trying
to prove with that fact.  (The gist of my argument was passed over
in silence.)

The issue in question wasn't all that important, and I didn't mind
being quoted, but the experience shed some very interesting light
on journalistic practices.

Joanne Despres

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