Some of you may have been following the scandal involving George Will’s column lying about global warming and the Washington Post’s subsequent first and second half-assed defenses. You may have even heard that John Kerry has weighed in. Obviously, the issue has raised all sorts of questions about the integrity of the Washington Post, especially as the institution had first stood behind the claim, and second, seemed to suggest the gravest error was in not facilitating a debate about which there is nothing to debate. As such, I don’t have much to add to the great deal that’s already been said, but I thought this passage would be interesting to my Haverford readers:
[The fact checking and editing process] began with Will’s own research assistant, Greg Reed. When the column was submitted on Feb. 12 to The Washington Post Writers Group, which edits and syndicates it, Reed sent an accompanying e-mail that provided roughly 20 Internet reference links in support of key assertions in the column. Richard Aldacushion, editorial production manager at the Writers Group, said he reviewed every link. The column was then edited by editorial director Alan Shearer and managing editor James Hill.
I don’t really think it’s appropriate for me to write about people I went to school with, especially those I didn’t know very well, but I can say I’m quite proud that a Haverford graduate played a central role in tarnishing George Will’s credibility.