Thursday, October 12, 2006
Mitch Albom still doesn't get it
In this recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, sportswriter and author Mitch Albom continues his dismissive attitude toward his ethical lapse last year.

In case you missed it, Albom wrote a column for Sunday publication a few days in advance, and in it, he said that former Michigan State players "sat in the stands" at a basketball game, among other events that didn't happen. The problem: Those players told Albom that they had planned to be at the game, but they never showed up. The basis of the column was misleading.

Asked about this in the EW interview, here's what Albom says:
It was just careless. It was just rushed. But that's all it was. It was just a rush. These guys swore to me that they were gonna be there, and so I said, Well, they're gonna be there, so we'll just write that they were there. You shouldn't do that, you should just write [that] they planned to be there. That's all. It was just missing a word.
It's more than a missing word. It's a decision to write about an event before it happens and describe what happened there as if you were there as a witness. It's a decision to use an event to illustrate a theme for a column, but the event never happened. It's deceptive perhaps not on the level of Jayson Blair and Stephen Glass, but it's still wrong. And Albom is wrong to brush it off this way.

At the time, many copy editors edited Albom's column (which was picked up on the wire) and didn't address the problem, but one did. Read that story here.
posted by Andy Bechtel at 2:54 PM | Permalink |