Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bates Apology Letter Makes Good Reading

The apology and retraction letter from Tulsa writer and blogger Michael Bates is chock full of interesting tidbits regarding his charges against the Tulsa World.

As Tulsa readers will recall, Bates used his January 15-21 column in Urban Tulsa Weekly to question the World's circulation figures.

So far so good—unless Bates got the facts wrong, which was exactly the claim made in the World's subsequent libel suit against UTW and Bates.

UTW quickly folded, issuing a retraction in its very next issue.

Good news for UTW, not so good for Bates, who remained a defendant in what appeared to be a losing legal position.

That position was confirmed this week when the case was settled and Bates admitted to "numerous errors" and issued a letter, available on the World website, making "the following corrections, clarifications and/or retractions."

Here are some selected highlights of the Bates correction letter dated February 10, 2009:
My column suggests that the Tulsa World was not audited by the Audit Bureau of Circulation for nearly a decade. This is false.

My suggestion that they withdrew from ABC for any nefarious reason is unfounded. I have no knowledge or information regarding the reasons for their withdrawal from ABC.

My statement that the Tulsa World retained "consultants" to provide circulation information is inaccurate and misleading.

My suggestion that the actual circulation numbers were somehow "concealed" for a time is incorrect.
This is quite a retraction. Careful readers will recall that news of the World's libel suit provoked howls of outrage among a segment of the Tulsa blogosphere.

This week, however, they seem to have fallen silent, unwilling to acknowledge the many errors that Bates himself admits.


Tulsan said...

The comments (all 121 of them!) at the Tulsa World story make entertaining reading, and show the caliber of the remaining Bates supporters.

Daniel the Mad Scientist said...

I like how Skrzypczak and the UTW staff simply bailed on Bates after the column generated controversy. I mean, you'd think that UTW, if anyone, would stand by their lead opinion columnist and defend his work, right? They didn't even wait for the courts before they published apology, distancing themselves from their own creation.

It's almost as if they knew all along that Bates was full of hot air and little else. Hmm...

Jeff Shaw said...

It would be refreshing to see someone in Tulsa on the Left that was as thoughtful and compassionate about Tulsa as Bates. We all make mistakes, I wouldn't make too much out of it. Sometime silence really is golden.

Tulsan said...

Jeff, you won't find this refreshing.

Bates isn't at all compassionate. Did you read his would-be hatchet job on Karen Keith, for example?

Gee, I wonder why he was so hot to do her in in favor of Bell. He still has Medlock, even if DelGiorno left town. Hmmm could this have anything to do with it?

Political Notebook

Who wants to be silent? Only those who want more of Bates and his buddies trying to get control.

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