Will Thoretz is the company spokesman for VNU Media, the company that owns Editor & Publisher and employs Editor Greg Mitchell, a man that has something of a "truth problem" according to Michael Silence, and seems to be on the wrong side of an example of "journalistic malpractice" according to Stephen Spruiell.
Mary Katharine Ham of Townhall.com attempted to contact Mitchell at Editor & Publisher for comment several times yesterday, but Mitchell has thus far decline to respond. Ham also tried to contact Will Thoretz of Editor & Publisher's parent company, VNU Media, and while she was able to speak to his assistant, Thoretz has not responded to Ham to date.
Color me skeptical, but evidence indicating that one of your editors
has severe ethical issues should demand an immediate response of some
sort, unless, of course, the decision has been made to stonewall the
story and hope it goes away.
Hoping that this would not turn out to be the case, I sent the
following email to Mr. Thoretz moments ago, hoping to spur him to
Dear Will Thoretz,
My name is Bob Owens, and I am the blogger that noticed Greg
Mitchell's 2003 editorial admitting that he manufactured elements of a
story as a young reporter, was suddenly changed within hours of my
having linked it. I also know that you have been contacted by Mary
Katharine Ham of Townhall.com regarding the unacknowledged and
unethical rewrite of the 2003 column, a rewrite apparently designed to
cast Mr. Mitchell in a more favorable light.
I have also noticed that while the article now features a correction
to the timeline elements that Mitchell got wrong, it still includes
elements of the rewrite (specifically the new addition of the phrase
"as a summer intern" which did not exist before 4:00 PM Friday, Aug
I would like to ask why this article has not been restored to the
2003 form in which it has existed for over three years until an
unfavorable light was cast on Mitchell's admitted journalistic fraud,
and why these changed elements are allowed to still exist without an
acknowledgement that such changes took place.
The self-serving rewrite of Mr. Mitchell's column has been described
as "journalistic malpractice," and I think the public has a right to
know how this happened, who was responsible, and what policies will be
put in place by VNU Media to keep such incidents from occurring in the
To date, I have noticed that Mr. Mitchell seems to be ducking phone
calls from Ms. Ham, and you have not (to the best of my knowledge)
responded to her either. I certainly hope that an effort to "stonewall"
this issue is not underway, as that would be quite counterproductive to
All it takes is a simple look to the server logs to conclusively
identify who rewrote Mitchell's 2003 column late this past Friday
afternoon. An even application of the kind of company policies I expect
in any large media organization against this kind of unethical behavior
should provide the remedy.
Please let me know what steps VNU Media intends to take to resolve this matter.
Thank you very much for your time.
I certainly hope Mr. Thoretz and VNU Media will choose to publicly
respond to this issue sooner rather than later. By now, they should
know that the longer things linger the more time people have to dig,
and the worse things get, day by day.