Wednesday, February 10, 2010

One Year Ago: Celebrating The Great Bates Backdown Day

It's February 10, the one-year anniversary of the Great Bates Backdown, the very day that Tulsa columnist and blogger Michael Bates capitulated in his ill-fated attack on the Tulsa World.

Let's review, shall we?

In January 2009, Bates wrote a column for Urban Tulsa Weekly attacking the World (which Bates insisted on calling the Whirrled) for cooking the books on its circulation figures and the auditing of those figures.

When the World reacted by filing a libel suit against UTW and Bates, the newspaper quickly backed off the story and apologized.

That left Bates in an awkward position, forced to defend his charges.

The defense did not go well, as Bates admitted in a letter dated February 10, 2009, exactly one year ago. In it, Bates admitted to numerous errors in his UTW column. 

Without reprinting the letter in full, let's just say that it was a considerable admission of flawed reporting. 

The letter starts out with these words, "I would like to set the record straight… " and goes on to include these words and phrases: "numerous errors," "false," "unfounded," "incorrect," "regret and retract," "absolutely no evidence" and so on.

As we said, a considerable admission of flawed reporting. Meanwhile, Batesline, a Tulsa blog, continues.

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