10 August 2012
Dear Friends and Observers:
Regarding the August 8, 2012 New York Times piece titled “Editor Fired Following Harassment Accusation” and written by Julie Bosman.
At 11:48 p.m. on August 10, 2012, I e-mailed a long rebuttal to Bosman’s article to the “Letters to the Editor” department at the New York Times.
The department requests that no letter over 150 words be sent to them. Because I contest that Bosman’s writing was not only overwhelmed by inaccurate and mean-spirited statements but was, in two parts, actually libelous, and that I need more than 150 words to rebut her many errors and instances of unfairness, I have formally requested that the New York Times waive its normal word-restriction and allow me a fair amount of extra space to respond to Bosman’s widely circulated twist-up. I have also formally requested a retraction and public apology from the New York Times.
It is the Times’ policy not to print in its Letters’ section letters that are publicly posted elsewhere (my letter to them is rife with specific claims and counterclaims that I do not mention here).
It is also the Times’ policy to only run letters that touch on articles that are no more than eight days’ vintage from the time they receive the letter.
Carol Ann and I have decided that we will give the New York Times eight days from the day their article ran (August 8), and six days from the day they received my rebuttal (August 10) and request for a retraction and apology to run my letter without edits (or with edits I approve of). In other words, the deadline we’ve devised for them uses their own logic and is therefore: August 16, 2012.
If the leaders of The New York Times choose not to my run my reasoned and reasonable critique to the public airing they gave to Bosman’s inaccurate report, then we will post my letter publicly (on this site) and send it to as many trustworthy writers, editors, friends, bloggers, media people, and libel lawyers that we can think of and locate.
By trusting the Times to do the right and fair thing and print my rebuttal, we are still showing the Times good faith and trust, since, if they do not run my rebuttal, we lose valuable immediacy.
For the record: To help her with her article, I spent three hours talking to Julie Bosman. I did not expect her, necessarily, to agree with my version of events, but I certainly did not expect her to unilaterally judge the case and all my claims and words. I expected her to either report them or investigate them (she did neither). Nor did I expect her to incessantly, and with obvious bias, give only one side of the story (my opponents’ side).
Nor did I expect her to libel me. (I contest, and I think prove, in my letter to The Times, that she did so twice.)
I also did not expect for New York Times editors to be blind to what was so patently a flawed and sloppy and cruel report.
If any of you are as exhausted as Carol Ann and me about our firing, about our talking about our firing, and of our complaints against false charges and false reporting, then you are very exhausted indeed.
Thank you, however, for still caring.
From the media, we merely request and expect a fair reporting of the case. From the public, we merely request and hope for an impartial judgment based on hearing an accurate report of our version of events.
You’d think that The New York Times, of almost all media organizations, would report our case fairly and honorably and thus help readers make an intelligent assessment.
They did not.
If you don’t see a long rebuttal from me in The New York Times by August 16, 2012, please check back here for it. In one forum or another, we will rebut Julie Bosman and The New York Times.
Marc Smirnoff (with Carol Ann Fitzgerald’s blessing)