Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Paul Horwitz and reporters' errors

No, no, no, no, no.  No I did NOT say that no one would disagree with me about whether the NYT reporter manufactured a quote or did so in order to present Professor Lupu as impugning other people's motives.  What I said is that for a reporter to manufacture a quote in order to present someone as impugning other people's motives is outrageous, and no one would disagree about that.  As to whether the reporter manufactured the quote, as I inferred from Professor Lupu's first comment she had done ("I was not happy with the attribution of the word "fear-mongering" to me in that story.  I never used it in talking to the reporter"), all I can say is that the matter has been rendered murky by Professor Lupu's second comment (in which he revealed, to my surprise in light of his first comment, that the reporter had actually read to him the text of what she was going to attribute to him, albeit without mentioning the quotation marks, and he did not object).  So there we are.  It's hard to blame the reporter.  As for the more general point Paul Horwitz is making, namely that we're all human and make mistakes, I say, "amen, brother."  (You can quote me on that.)  I've certainly made my share, alas.  Noting that lawyers and law professors make errors and need forgiveness, and that the law itself recognizes excusable mistakes, Paul says:  "Surely we can extend the same forgiving spirit outside our own profession without rushing to assume that this reporter acted out of bad motives."  Dare I say it?  That seems to me to be a proposition --another propostion -- that no one would disagree with.


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