Imperfect contrition

A First Century journalist recognizes the error of his ways.

In this week’s North Coast Journal, the usually verbose Hank Sims is credited with only a few dozen words, all of them in a three-sentence editor’s note which almost, but not quite, puts an end to the Bob Doran affair.

A letter demanding an explanation from Doran is answered as follows by Sims:

Bob Doran has fully acknowledged and apologized for his error in judgment in failing to identify his wife in the story in question (‘Tea in Fortuna,’ Sept. 3). As a result of this error, his work in the future will be confined to editing and writing for the Journal’s arts and culture section.

For background, see the publisher’s note in the Journal’s Sept. 17 edition.

The punishment seems perfectly appropriate–seriously, who wanted this guy fired?–but the offense is inaccurately described.

Not to get all Catholic and shit, but Doran’s error was not the omission of failing to identify his wife so much as the commission of attempting to conceal her identity. It was active, not passive, and that distinction is important.

Most people seem inclined to let him off the hook. It’s only fair. He’s only human. But let’s be clear: He’s being forgiven for something he did, not for something he didn’t do.

15 Responses

  1. The question remains: Did Hank know Bob was quoting his wife? Did the publisher know? When your hand is caught in the cookie jar, don’t blame your sibling.

  2. “New hope that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American — North, South, East, West, young, old — will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege.”

    What an outrage!

  3. If anyone at the Eureka Reporter would have been caught doing this, Media Maven Burstiner would have written a 50-part series grilling the reporter and the paper for such an egregious error, which she would have surely linked somehow to the evil Arkley empire. But when the beloved Journal commits the grave error of judgment, which publishes her boring and lame rantings, she’s oddly silent.

  4. It is hard to believe that Hank didn’t know. But if he did, shame on him. If he didn’t, shame on him too.

  5. I’m down to boo some JFK quotes if anyone else wants to throw some more out.

    At least The Journal is entertaining. It’s not like trying to read the the Eyesore or the Substandard where I am thinking “fuck these people” the whole time. I honestly wish the NCJ would pull some shit like Bob did more often. Make it a regular thing: find the journalistic fuckups and win a Bon Boniere chocolate-dipped cheesecake.

  6. “Doran’s error was not the omission of failing to identify his wife so much as the commission of attempting to conceal her identity. It was active, not passive, and that distinction is important.”


    You hit the nail on the head. Doran didn’t leave it out. He intentionally hid it.

    There is the rub. Hank, Judy, this is the problem with calling it a mistake. It wasn’t a mistake. It was intentional.

  7. Yeah because this is about content, idiot. Nice attempt to divert. Unsuccessful, but nice.

  8. Awesome!!

  9. I think reporters should recuse themselves from a story when 1. They are the story or 2. Their wives/sons/daughters are the story.
    In this case, he deliberately quoted his wife and then didn’t SAY she was his wife. It was an overt attempt at “I’m being unbiased and professional” while being biased.
    And OVERT means active not passive.
    Glossing over aside, any other reporter would be fired frankly. Doran is lucky that this is Humboldt County and it has three degrees of separation, not six. So, we’re kind of used to everybody being related to everybody else.
    It’s a tradition.

  10. What do you expect from a guy who thinks Glass is the hardest working politician on the North coast?

    i don’t think Sims ever does his homework, but he is entertaining.

  11. I wish I had something clever or witty to write (alas, I don’t). So instead, I’ll just add my appreciation of Bugs for hitting the nail on the head. Well done.

  12. Cleverness, friend, is fortunately not required. Otherwise we’d be in deep crap most of the time. Hugs!!

  13. Hypocrisy Lover’s post was right on.

    Why don’t we see the famous Media Maven Burstiner busting someone’s balls over this juicy little scandal?

  14. Why don’t you see Media Maven? Because she and her husband are too busy whining over the fact that she has been furloughed a couple days of month and that the taxpayers won’t pick up her bill for daycare.

  15. WHEN will we see an apology from Dorn?

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