Here is the response that I forwarded to The Telegram, it was pasted into the comment section at 10:12 PM, November 14, 2009. As at least one of my previous replies has been scrubbed, I can not be sure that this one will be published, so for the public record, here it is:
This post sure proves how much of a professional you are. I can not begin to tell you how satisfied I am with your approach. Can I have your permission to re-post this on my blog as well?
I guess we can cancel that dinner date. I can unwrap that bound copy of the New York Times On-Line Correction Policy that I had for you and give it to someone who likes me.
The real question is how much longer is the Telegram going to allow you to use this forum for your own personal agenda? Days, weeks, months?
I have no issue with you, this is not personal. Seems you can give it but not take it. For a fella that started a blog about media, I surprised that you refuse to participate in a sensible discussion about best practices.
I addressed every one of your concerns, provided various examples of best practices and developed a debate that many professionals have participated in, excluding yourself.
Lets not forget that this all started when you suggested a journalist withe CBC "Suppressed" a story. Bad form, but hey it is your blog and obviously the Telegram is backing you up.... right!
The libel issue is the complicated one. It would appear that if Libel is inferred most organizations will note that in the revised post. Obviously if libel is the issue, the comments have to come down.
In your case libel does not appear to be the issue, as you said "But is also a word with great potency for journalists. I have enormous respect for Cochrane. I realized that he was insulted by that word, and understandably so. After all, I wasn’t there that day to witness firsthand what transpired. So I decided to change the wording.". If that is the case and there was no threat of Libel, than you scrubbed, plain and simple. There is no legal reason for removing your words.
I understand from another anti-blogger that he complained about the Locke post and the they reacted by removing the contentious sections. They also noted that in the original piece, not deep down in the comment section after a good scrubbing. It would appear that the Canadian Journalism Foundation standards are higher than yours. As a matter of fact you do not seem to care about standards at all. However, I can only direct you to Locke and the CJF for answers.
I can not say that I am offended by your approach. The title "The Plot Sickens" says it all. You have deviated from being a respected commentator on media issue to becoming part of the story in your pursuit of all matter of plots and conspiracies. It was the genesis of this debate. You called out a fellow journalist because the story you would have preferred, one that would have cast Danny Williams in a negative light, was not perused. That Geoff was the problem from the get go. Your right, the plot does sicken.
Geoff I think you will find in the future that you will regret the fact that you made this post, it is emotional and it says a great deal more about you, than me.
Your a great tech columnist and a fantastic entertainment writer but a little advice, leave the hard news to the pros.
Now let the antis swarm!