X-Message-Number: 8676
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 1997 22:09:32 -0400 (EDT)
From: Charles Platt <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet #8667

On Sun, 12 Oct 1997, Saul Kent wrote:

>         I want to report that saying "no comment" or not answering
> a question won't necessarily stop "journalists".  In this case, the writer
> of the Times story was fishing around for information about how many
> dogs have died in our experiments at 21st Century Medicine.
>         No one obliged him with this information.  When I was asked
> the question, I didn't answer it.  So, he merely quessed that  dozens of
> dogs have died and The Times printed his guess.

I find this hard to believe. The Times employs fact checkers (I have been
called by them more than once), and no fact checker would allow such a
statement unchallenged. Obviously if it was inaccurate it would open the
Times to legal liability. I believe they must have obtained information
from SOMEWHERE, even if it wasn't someone at 21st Century Medicine. 

>         It also reminds me of being interviewed around the same time
> by NY Times writer Homer S. Bigart, a pullitzer-press winning reporter,
> who was at the end of his career.  The article he wrote from the interview
> turned out to be perfect:  it was unbiased and every fact was right.
> Just goes to show that everything in the newspapers doesn't have to be
> screwed up, and that there is always the chance, however remote it may be,
> that we'll run across another Homer Bigart.

Well, yes, of course! But if we have to endure a dozen damaging articles 
in order to reap one favorable article, is this a worthwhile tradeoff? I 
used to think so, but now I'm not so sure.


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