In light of yesterday’s editorial faux pas following Occupy Wesleyan’s mock revocation of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper’s diploma (Hickenlooper was a member of the class of 1974), the Middletown Press has published a mea culpa, apologizing for the mistake and its implications.
Apparently, an editor at the Middletown Press “misread a student-issued press release” (presumably from the Occupy Wesleyan group on campus); the subsequent post on their website, consisting of an “edited version of that release,” contained the error in question (later picked up by the Denver Post, which has issued no such correction).
Said oversight — specifying that President Michael Roth ’78 had personally revoked Hickenlooper’s diploma (an event that David Pesci, Wesleyan’s “director of public relations and media relations,” stated was both unheard of and, perhaps, impossible) — generated a firestorm of emails from alumni and the Governor’s office itself directed at Roth. According to Pesci, Roth “did correspond with the governor about this and assured him that it was false.”
Additionally, the Middletown Press notes:
Wesleying.org, a blog devoted to life at the university, was also quick to pick up the error, as well as the use of the erroneous information by the Denver Post, and was able to post, under the headline “Ah, journalism,” screenshots of both MiddletownPress.com and DenverPost.com before those sites were updated.
Here’s to hoping I never have to do another post about this story.