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April 06, 2005

BELLESILES UPDATE: Gordon Smith comments on a Jim Lindgren presentation regarding the Bellesiles affair, and points out (yes, really) a Wonkette angle.

UPDATE: Lindgren comments, and adds more background, here. The Chronicle of Higher Education comes off quite badly.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Scott McLemee, formerly of the Chronicle, disputes Lindgren's version of events:

I'm astonished to see you retailing the nonsense about the Chronicle's coverage of the Bellesiles affair.

Until leaving the paper recently to begin writing a column for Inside Higher Ed, I worked in the section that covered the story. (It was not my beat, but I kept up with developments at the time.) Obviously I'm not speaking on the paper's behalf, but can tell you that the notion there was any pressure to shape the story one way or the other is preposterous. Even more so is the notion that the individual now known as Wonkette was fired for some excessive zeal in pursuit of investigative reporting. That is enough to make a cat laugh.

People are not angry because the Chronicle's coverage of the story was unfair or unbalanced. On the contrary. They are angry at not seeing only their take represented. I suppose that Bellesiles's supporters would be unhappy, too, if he had any.

I don't know the truth of this -- though I've always found Lindgren reliable -- but I like the phrase "enough to make a cat laugh."