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Rewriting History at Editor & Publisher

• Views: 2,100

Unbelievable. After the blogosphere picked up on his 2003 article revealing that he faked a news story while working at the Niagara Gazette, the editor of Editor and Publisher, Greg Mitchell (or someone covering for him), apparently went in and edited the 3-year old article to make him look less guilty: The More Things Change…

Here’s the original first paragraph, still retained in The Internet Wayback Machine. (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll.)

Since the press seems to be in full-disclosure mode these days, I want to finally come clean. Back when I worked for the Niagara Falls (N.Y.) Gazette (now the Niagara Gazette), our city editor asked me to find out what tourists thought about an amazing local event: Engineers had literally “turned off” the famous cataracts, diverting water so they could shore up the crumbling rock face. Were visitors disappointed to find a trickle rather than a roar? Or thrilled about witnessing this once-in-a-lifetime stunt?

And here’s the edited version: ‘E&P’ Editor Had a ‘Jayson Blair’ Moment?

Since the press seems to be in full-disclosure mode these days, I want to finally come clean. Back in 1967, when I was 19 and worked for the Niagara Falls (N.Y.) Gazette (now the Niagara Gazette) as a summer intern, our city editor asked me to find out what tourists thought about an amazing local event: Engineers had literally “turned off” the famous cataracts, diverting water so they could shore up the crumbling rock face. Were visitors disappointed to find a trickle rather than a roar? Or thrilled about witnessing this once-in-a-lifetime stunt?

This one sends the LGF Lameness Meter to eleven.

UPDATE at 8/26/06 8:58:11 am:

LGF reader Geepers discovers that this little editing job is even more lame than it appears—because Niagara Falls was turned off in 1969, not 1967: Corps turned Niagara Falls off, on again.

The IJC recommended to both countries that American Falls be temporarily dewatered to facilitate a timely and thorough study. The governments agreed, and on June 12, 1969, a rock cofferdam stopped the flow over American Falls. The Falls remained dry until November 25, 1969, when a backhoe removed the cofferdam.

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