CJR BlogGate Author Responds

Via Derek Rose comes a note that Corey Pein defends his Columbia Journalism Review article Blog-Gate in the letters section at Romenesko, the text of which he’s also posted to his web site. If you’re lucky you might be able to find Pein’s letter in the Romenesko letters page (it will get harder as the days pass), but since individual letters do not have permalinks it’s easier to reference Pein’s post at his blog.

Several prominent bloggers mentioned (but not linked) in Pein’s story received the following note from Pein:

You may be interested in this.

Corey Pein
asst. editor, CJR

http://www.cjr.org/issues/2005/1/pein-blog.aspIt’s clear the Pein went out of his way to notify the very bloggers he was criticizing in his story hoping to get a reaction. I’d venture to guess that Pein got exactly the reaction he was hoping to get.

Noteworthy among Pein’s defenses is that he claims to have done the legwork on the story.

Finally, when Powerline compares CJR’s standard of reporting to what he believes CBS’s was, i.e., that I never dealt with the bloggers’ criticisms, never interviewed living witnesses to the story, and never questioned Burkett’s credibility, he is simply incorrect. I did all of the above and more.

I think it’s safe to assume that Pein did not interview me, Charles Johnson (Little Green Footballs), the authors at Powerline, Mike Krempasky (Rathergate), Matt Sheffield (RatherBiased), Dr. Joseph Newcomer, Jim Lindgren, (The Volokh Conspiracy) Bill Ardolino (INDCJournal), Glenn Reynolds (InstaPundit), etc.

So who exactly did Pein interview?

:: crickets ::

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Update: Pein criticizes others for not reading or misreading his article, then misreads Jonathan Last’s critique at The Weekly Standard by suggesting that Last opines on his assessment of the Haileygate affair.

Last didn’t address Hailey, but I will.

Pein refuses to examine the evidence presented at Wizbang and elsewhere that so clearly and convincingly damned Hailey’s work. Here’s what Pein says about Hailey:

Last complains that I hold up David Hailey’s typographic study to show that the memos might be real. To prove that Hailey’s study was “debunked,” Last cites the very bloggers who hounded Hailey – without compelling evidence of fraud. I’m not going to pretend to be qualified to peer review Hailey’s work, but his criticism of the studies that, like Newcomer’s, presumed guilt seems sound. The man was harassed for failing to join the chorus, and that, more than anything, makes his story notable.

Pein is treading on dangerous territory with this quote “the very bloggers who hounded Hailey,” as he provides no basis for that remark. Hailey was not hounded by this blog. His work was examined and two issues that potentially amounted to academic misconduct were brought to the attention of university officials and Wizbang readers. If you follow the links on one of the final post on Haileygate you will see the Hailey clearly was loosing control of his emotional state, lashing out, and ultimately apologized to me. Dr. Newcomer who is qualified to comment on Hailey’s work did just that – yet another fact that Pein ignored.

I received exactly one call from Hailey (my number was given to him by my university contact) and we discussed my concerns over his lack of version control, etc. That’s the extent of our contact with Hailey. Though I’m sure that Hailey received all sorts of e-mail, it was Hailey himself who obsessed on, and wallowed in the comments made via e-mail. It was Hailey who made the attacks into “hate” attacks and went to the media to get sympathy. This was an effective strawman against the fact that he was caught red handed perpetrating a cut and paste Photoshop chop job as “proof” that he could duplicate the Bush memos on “typewriter.”

If Pein is looking for compelling evidence of lies and fraud he might examine this story that deals with Hailey’s “final” report, but I doubt he will avail himself of that oportunity…

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