Monday, May 05, 2008

Chronicle’s Allison emails; I respond

Readers Note: It will help you understand the post below if you're familiar with the following: Chronicle editor David Graham’s Apr. 23 column here in which he outed me after The Chronicle (TC) had promised me anonymity; the thread of his column which includes my first response to him and a Cc. to incoming Chronicle editor Chelsea Allison; and two JinC posts Duke's Chronicle outs JinC and AChronicle editor responds to outing in which last year’s TC editor Ryan McCartney comments and I respond. See also Chronicle's "Boobs Allison;" false credentials - Update. The posts' threads are extremely interesting. I hope you take a look at them, too.

John
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In an Apr. 25 email to outgoing Chronicle (TC) editor David Graham with a Cc. to incoming TC editor Chelsea Allison I asked, among other things, whether the “Boobs Allison” bylined on an Apr. 1 TC front-page story outing me was, in fact, Chelsea Allison or whether others at TC had used her surname without her knowledge or consent.

I also posted the email on the thread of Graham’s Apr. 23 column in which he also outed me.

Graham’s column is here; its thread is here , with the “Boobs Allison” matter much commented upon. Some commenters discuss serious issues relating to how TC treats the identity of people to whom it pledges anonymity. For other commenters, “Boobs Allison” is simply an opportunity for them to demonstrate what they see as their "wit."

When I heard nothing back from Graham or Allison concerning the "Boobs Allison" matter, I sent them follow-up emails. I also posted here noting among other things the matter was hurting TC's credibility.

I've subsequently heard back from them both.

In this post I want to present and respond to editor Allison's email.

I'll present and respond to editor Graham's email tomorrow. Posts concerning tomorrow's primary election here in NC are at the top of my priority list once I finish this post.

I'll send Graham an email explaining the reason for my delay in responding to him.

What follows is Allison's email in full and then my response to her. I'll share with you whatever response I get back from her.

Here’s Allison’s email - - -

Hi John,

Thanks for your message. I certainly understand your desire to correspond via e-mail, but I find conversations--both on the phone and in person--frequently lead to more frank discussions. If you're available to talk at all next week, please let me know.

To address the April 1 "Chomicle" article, from our April Fool's joke issue, I don't believe you were outed. A fictional John Mathews [sic], Trinity '69, is the subject of the fake news story, and nowhere does it mention identifying characteristics, such as your blog.

As a Duke student, I appreciate your dedication to your alma mater, and I appreciate your calls for fair reporting of issues. I strive for that, too.

Best,

Chelsea Allison

And my email to Allison - - -

Dear Editor Allison:

Thank you for responding.

I can most fully and clearly respond to you if I provide you and others with the full text of your email in italics and my responses in plain.

You began - - -

Thanks for your message. I certainly understand your desire to correspond via e-mail, but I find conversations--both on the phone and in person--frequently lead to more frank discussions. If you're available to talk at all next week, please let me know.

I appreciate your willingness to communicate. In the present circumstances, I’m confident you’ll understand why the written form is fair to us both; and to fact-seeking Chronicle (TC) and JinC readers as well as others.

Many of them have been following matters which became widely known in the Duke community on Apr. 23 when editor David Graham in his final TC column told readers: “ I know there are some readers who will be pleased to see me go, and will no doubt tell me so in the online comments on this article. I especially await the input of the cowardly ones who comment anonymously-John Matthews, Trinity '69 and Grad '76 and '84, who blogs as John in Carolina, and his ilk.”

To address the April 1 "Chronicle" article, from our April Fool's joke issue, I don't believe you were outed. A fictional John Mathews [sic], Trinity '69, is the subject of the fake news story, and nowhere does it mention identifying characteristics, such as your blog.

On the chance the TC Apr. 1 publication was an April fools prank, I let it pass even though I was the only person mentioned whose name, used twice, matched his actual name, except for the single “t” you note with (sic).

However, once TC published Graham’s Apr. 23 column outing me after saying he wouldn’t, I asked myself whether TC’s Apr. 1 “story” under a “Boobs Allison” byline was something you’d agreed to, or whether others at TC used your surname without your knowledge?

Your email doesn’t answer that question.

Also, are you suggesting that because TC used but one “t”, it really wasn’t using my name; and that TC’s use of “John Mathews” was random and its nearly identical similarity to my name a mere coincidence?

I don't doubt you agree these questions are important in helping people understand what TC did by way of outing me and why it did it.

As a Duke student, I appreciate your dedication to your alma mater, and I appreciate your calls for fair reporting of issues. I strive for that, too.

I appreciate your nice words and don’t doubt you strive for fair reporting.

My hope is this exchange will be the start of a productive relationship which will benefit us both as we strive to serve our readers.

I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Sincerely,

John in Carolina.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

John: A friend just e-mailed me a definition of "Political Correctness" that I thought you might get a kick out of. I realize you probably cannot post this but I wanted to share it with you anyway. "Political Coeerctness is a doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

Anonymous said...

John:

"or whether others at TC used your surname without your knowledge?"

Chelsea Allison didn't answer your question directly.....she answered it indirectly.

If it was her column and her byline, she should have had no problem stating that fact along with explaining how she came up with the name "John Mathews [sic]".

Instead, she proceeds to lie and deny the obvious.

So instead of two ghouls working at The Chronicle, it appears we now have three.

Ken
Dallas

Anonymous said...

TC is prolly tired of all this.
Why keep on and on?

Archer05 said...

Anonymous said...
TC is prolly tired of all this.
Why keep on and on?
--------------------
If the TC is tired of all this, they prolly should just tell the truth. Dragging something out should prolly not be a reason to cease discussions. Wait, your strategy is at work already, prolly.

Anonymous said...

Prolly boys and girls at TC have fun outing John and calling him a liar.

But prolly no fun for them when John calls them on it.

Then they get mad, mad, mad and their friends prolly want John to stop, stop, stop.

Richard H. Brodhead

Anonymous said...

4:50 sounds a lot like Mac.
Why such volatility all the time?

Anonymous said...

John,

I don't mean this as a put down but nobody at Duke trusts The Chronicle.

What Allison and Graham did to you is nothing new.

Sorry it happened.