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Jolly Dodgers

Funny stuff -- but Grossman wasn't chuckling on April 2, when a Seibert article headlined "Photo-Radar Idea Shields Adulterers," which portrayed the "adulterers amendment" quip as a legitimate proposition, wound up on the Post's front page. Grossman, whose account of the conversation was confirmed by at least one other person present, immediately demanded a retraction from the paper. But instead of simply correcting the item, which would have alerted all future readers of the piece to its inaccuracy, the Post allowed Seibert to write a second story, April 3's "Lawmaker Drops Photo-Radar Idea," implying that Grossman was backing away from a serious proposal because of adverse public reaction -- a spin that Grossman insisted was totally false.

This matter didn't cause Grossman any substantial political harm; in fact, he was elected to the state senate later that year. But it lingers in the pages of Systems by way of a case study that reads in part, "By the way, because of the potential of photo radar systems catching people having an affair, the Colorado legislature has introduced a new bill called the adulterers amendment . . ."

Fortunately, a new, fifth edition of Systems lacks that passage -- but DU's Haag, corresponding via e-mail, writes that "we are preparing an 'errata' page on the website for the fourth edition that will inform faculty using the book of the error." Cundiff, meanwhile, finds it "amazing that with a simple Google search I have ascertained that the authors of my textbook didn't do their homework!"

Save some of the blame for the Post. As this circumstance demonstrates, refusing to fess up can have unexpected consequences.

Double talk: The Rocky Mountain News took a lot of heat for identifying Katelyn Faber, the woman accusing hoops star Kobe Bryant of rape, after she refiled a civil suit against him under her own name last month. Nonetheless, other organizations have followed suit, including Fox News and a second prominent local broadsheet, the Boulder Daily Camera. According to Camera editor Sue Deans, her paper's move (which hasn't generated even one letter to the editor) was made because "in the past we've seen merit to naming people who file civil suits in such circumstances, and after having a conversation in the newsroom about it, we decided to go ahead and do it in this case."

Even so, Faber's attorney, L. Lin Wood, singled out the Rocky for criticism in an interview posted at www.poynter.org, the online home of Florida's Poynter Institute. "I've had dealings with the Rocky Mountain News in the past," Wood said, "and I do not have a great deal of respect for that newspaper. I view it as a cut above the supermarket tabloids."

For anyone familiar with the JonBenét Ramsey case, this claim is nothing short of astonishing. As editor/publisher/president John Temple alluded to in a subsequent chat also accessible on the Poynter website, the Rocky was kinder to John and Patsy Ramsey, whom Wood represented, than any other major daily in the country, let alone the tabloids, which convicted the elder Ramseys of murder with each new edition. The Rocky earned ridicule in many quarters, not to mention the nickname "Ramsey Mountain News," for coverage that appeared to benefit Wood and his clients.

Imagine: a lawyer twisting the truth and rewriting history to suit his current purposes. Stop the presses.

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