Chicago Tribune Denounces Censorship, Then Practices It

September 18th, 2007 12:33 PM

Today's Chicago Tribune includes the editorial, "Protect us from Sally Field?" The Tribune is displeased that Ms. Field, who pretty much exhausted her acting ability 40 years ago with "The Flying Nun," was censored by the Fox Network.

In an acceptance speech on Sunday's Emmy Awards program, Sally shared her wisdom: "If the mothers ruled the world, there would be no god-damned wars in the first place." Fox cut out the last half of her sentence. Concluded the editorial:

Some would have been offended by Field's choice of words. Some would have been offended by her political sentiment. But everyone ought to feel a chill over the fact that they didn't get to hear the end of her sentence at all.

So, OK, the Chicago Tribune opposes that chilling effect. Hurrah.

The Trib's outrage might be more persuasive if it didn't selectively edit a story in the same day's paper.

In the article, "Taped voice said to be O.J.'s," the piece describes the latest episode of the ongoing O.J. Simpson saga. The second paragraph:

"Think you can steal my property and sell it?" a man believed to be Simpson angrily says on the audio obtained by after it was surreptitiously taped by auctioneer Thomas Riccio, who had arranged for Simpson to meet with men who reportedly were trying to sell his mementos.

But if you go to and listen to the audio, that purported question from Simpson is not to be heard, at least not as quoted. In an article yesterday from the Associated Press, one carried on the Trib's own Web site, the question from the voice identified as Simpson's is: "Think you can steal my s--- and sell it?"

Is the Tribune not concerned that its changing the quote will make all its readers "feel a chill" because they didn't get to read what actually was said?

It appears the Chicago Tribune doesn't believe in selective editing - unless it's the Chicago Tribune doing it.