Sydney Morning Herald transcriber Alan Ramsey defends himself against accusations of laziness and Googlephobia. Hilariously, this ran on Saturday under the headline “Misquote, but message still true”:
Readers will recall the dark acceptance speech to a New York audience last December after Harvard Medical School named Bill Moyers, the eminent American journalist from US public broadcasting, and a former presidential press secretary, its fourth annual Global Environmental Citizen. The speech went unreported in this country’s mass media until I edited its 2500-word text down to 750 words on this page on March 9 under the introduction, “Here is a speech that should terrify you. If not, you deserve everything you get.”
Shrill religious and political zealots instantly fell on me. So did one of Sydney’s several blimpish print shrieks. Yet the power of Moyers’s speech, in its confrontation of the religious right in American politics and the Bush Administration’s insidious assault on environmental protection, was undiminished by an apocryphal quote Moyers eventually corrected (10 weeks later) but which remained intact in the Harvard website text. The Herald’s immediate correction of the misquote in my edited text did nothing to quell the shriek’s hysterics about “lazy journalism”.
As Attila the Pun asked on the day Ramsey’s “fake but true” Moyers column appeared: “Does anyone seriously think Ramsey will publish a proper apology?” No, we didn’t – and we’re still waiting for Ramsey to correct the small matter of that plastic Christmas turkey. The prestigious New York Times did so months ago.
Apparently the SMH’s ReaderLink is the service to contact about this.