This is how history gets messed up…
There’s a responsibility that comes with running a virtual news monopoly as "the newspaper of record." That’s why print reporters and editors take their jobs so seriously. Sure, they’re human and some of the news comes – however subtly – laced with views. But by and large newspapers are still the ones who document and help shape what passes for histtory.
So when they screw up, they correct it, right
Uh, some of the time…
Which brings us to the case of the Kansas City Business Rights Coalition. A group largely composed of local bars, restaurants and casinos. Star columnist Mike Hendricks erroneously reported last week that group’s primary objectives in the upcoming political races were to tell candidates they wanted a statewide ban on smoking in bars and restaurants in Missouri and to end smoking in casinos.
Dead wrong, says KCBRC head Bill Nigro.
Nigro asked for a correction but recieved only a clarification, leaving readers with the indelable impression that these were the group’s objectives. After calling Star reader rep Derek Donovan to ask again for a correction to the obvious error, Nigro sat back and waited.
"Well, he called me back – the guy I said was a dick – and left a message that said, after talking to some of the other members, a clarification is all we would get," Nigro says.
Leaving even Business Rights members and casinos wondering what the deal was.
"We had our interviews with all the candidates for City Council and mayor this week and a couple of the members said, ‘Why are we for a statewide ban on smoking?’ " Nigro says. "And I said, we’re not. And they said, ‘Well, it was in the paper.’ "
"One of our casino members called to ask me why I wanted to ban smoking at the casinos," Nigro says. "They’re on our team and I told him that the Star totally misrepresented me. I mean, here’s a guy who has been working with me and he felt I was behind-the-scenes stabbing him. I felt awful about it."
Nigro says Donovan offered to let him the submit to an ‘As I see it’ column.
Raising the question of whether the they’ll edit out Nigro’s correction.
The $64 million question: How can you get something dead wrong and not correct it?
You know what they say about power…