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Blogger admits mistake; apologizes

Dec 13, 2010, 9:00 AM EDT

Murray Chass

It’s always good to see bloggers be accountable for their mistakes. Even when the blogger doesn’t believe that he’s actually a blogger. Here’s Murray Chass, explaining his post in which he slammed Tom Verducci for voting against Marvin Miller for the Hall of Fame, even though Verducci voted for him:

When I reported his alleged no vote, I was basing it on what Miller told me he had heard. Miller was not wrong for telling me what he heard; I was wrong for reporting it without checking it. The blame is strictly mine.

In 99.99 percent – no, make that 100 percent – of previous articles or columns, I checked something like that and confirmed it to my satisfaction before writing it. I should have done that in this instance and not taken a shortcut, but I was unable to because I was out of the country on vacation with no access to information, such as telephone numbers or e-mail addresses, for people who might have known.

In retrospect, I should not have identified anyone as having voted against Miller; I should just have let the numbers speak for themselves. Had I subsequently been able to identify the nay-sayers, I could have then named them. It is a routine I would have followed in every other instance and should have this time. I regret that I did not. I further regret any embarrassment I might have caused Miller and Verducci.

We’re all wrong on occasion.  Good for Chass for owning it and apologizing. Would that more of us do that when we whiff.

UPDATE:  Joe Posnanski — who rarely rips people — completely eviscerates the Chass apology. I’ll admit that I didn’t think too hard about the quality of Chass’ apology when I linked it this morning. I was pleased enough to even see acknowledgement of an error, which we hardly ever see these days. But after reading Posnanski’s thing, I gotta admit: he nailed it.

  1. cwkash - Dec 13, 2010 at 9:22 AM

    Craig, I’m surprised you missed the inconsistency in his excuse. Chass claims he had no ways of accessing email addresses or phone numbers to verify the claims of Miller because he was out of the country when he filed the story. Obviously he had access to the internet to post the story, but he’s either too lazy or too inept to access his email or to work a smartphone to check the facts.

    • jeremysgordon - Dec 13, 2010 at 9:32 AM

      Perhaps he filed his story via telegraph?

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 13, 2010 at 9:44 AM

        He hand writes everything on Papayrus with berry based ink and has the pony express run it over to his typist. It keeps him from having to type, and admit he’s a blogger.

      • Jason @ IIATMS - Dec 13, 2010 at 10:19 AM

        @ Jonny5:

        It’s that dreaded Acai Berry which caused Chass’ problems

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 13, 2010 at 10:52 AM

        LOL!!! Yes, the result of that berry spews forward regularly. He must be taking it the wrong way though, since it’s coming out the wrong end. Either that or it spews from the correct end and Chass talks out of his a$$. Either way the result is stinky breath.

  2. BC - Dec 13, 2010 at 9:23 AM

    Chass is a chipwich. Though I respect the fact that he apologized.

  3. Jason @ IIATMS - Dec 13, 2010 at 9:27 AM

    This apology turns his VORB (Value Over Replacement Blogger) to a modest 2.3561, though his eVORB remains decidedly negative due to CACiP (Crustitude Average on Complaints in Postings).

    Some things you can’t fix.

    • cktai - Dec 14, 2010 at 3:26 AM

      At least his BAR (blogs above replacement) went up during this affair.

  4. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Dec 13, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    A Christmas miracle!

  5. RickyB - Dec 13, 2010 at 11:36 AM

    JoePoz has a bit different take on the “apology.” Interesting take (as always with Joe).

  6. King Trash Newsdesk - Dec 13, 2010 at 12:39 PM

    craig can you illuminate the difference between chass’ apology and mcgwire’s? pos had a diff. take on the two:

    • Craig Calcaterra - Dec 13, 2010 at 12:44 PM

      Hmm. Forgot all about that. I’m going to put some thought to it.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Dec 13, 2010 at 1:19 PM

        Well, as I wrote last year (and forgot I wrote until you reminded me), I think Poz whiffed on the McGwire thing. I think it was a misguided column, including the part about “we’re not supposed to judge apologies” part. I think he’s right on about Chass.

        I do believe, however, that if he still stands by the McGwire piece, he probably should explain why some apologies are to be judged and some aren’t. I presume he’d say that Chass is an educated man and a writer and McGwire is a baseball masher, but for the reasons Jay wrote over at Fack Youk, I don’t know that cuts it.

      • King Trash Newsdesk - Dec 13, 2010 at 1:51 PM

        thanks for that craig. pos does indeed echo your reasons below – in the mac column he said, he’s a masher and “not an open person.” he also says chass made a non-apology, and an apology. he was right on chass, who opened himself up to criticism bc of his shoddy work, but a PR firm orchestrated mac’s apology, and my 2c is when spin is involved, it’s worth judging, especially by a journalist.

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