I’ve spent much of my life in print (and radio, and online) journalism, doing my best to “afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted” (as the great muckraker Finley Peter Dunne is credited with saying).

One thing any decent journalist learns very quickly – or they’re not a journalist for long – is to correct his mistakes the minute he becomes aware of them. Five days ago, whilst commenting on a diary here at MyFDL, I made a factual error. I have just finished reviewing my notes, and want to correct that error immediately.

In response to a comment by Robert Alexander Dumas on this diary, I said:

Maybe you don’t remember, but when you were first getting your panties in a wad about Monsanto, you wrote and asked the NPA [an organization with which I am involved] to “expose” it. My response was that we were focused on the Unified Platform and building the organization, which is not a journalistic endeavor, and so I encouraged you to pursue it yourself.

In a later comment on the same diary (in response to wendydavis), I elaborated thus:

[…]The comment was an aside to Robert, who wrote me emails for two solid weeks telling me it was MY job to expose Monsanto […]

In both cases, I was wrong.

Minutes ago, I completed the rather time-consuming job of reviewing the NPA’s email archives from several months back. In fact, the repeated requests that NPA expose Monsanto did not come from Robert Alexander Dumas but from someone else entirely. I sincerely regret the error.

Another journalistic ethic to which I have always strived to adhere is to make any correction as prominent as the error, to ensure it is seen. Though this error was not in a diary, I am posting its correction as one to fulfill that tenet.

In closing, I will repeat something else I stated in the comments in question, and by which I still stand: Robert, your reporting on Monsanto has been fine and quite effective. Thanks.

Anthony Noel

Anthony Noel

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