Monday, April 02, 2007

Mea Culpa--a Correction is Due

Stephen Bates, a religion editor for the Guardian, wrote to my blog pointing out two errors, one of which was egregious on my part.

The first error has to do with the name of the newspaper. I referred to it as the Manchester Guardian. That name was changed decades ago to simply, the Guardian. Somehow, the old name for the paper stuck in my mind. I’ve been known to become personally irritated when my name is spelled “grey” instead of “gray.” My apologies to the newspaper for that error is due.

The second error was inexcusable on my part. I correctly described the paper as a bastion of liberal thought but I said that they uncritically supported Stalin in the 1930s. The opposite is true. My mistake was to repeat something I’d read elsewhere without doing my own homework.

Malcolm Muggeridge was the (then) Manchester Guardian’s reporter in Russia. He saw first hand the show trials Stalin put on and the forced starvation of Soviet people, particularly in the Ukraine. While other reporters and newspapers decided not to report the truth, he stood out, as did his paper, reporting with integrity exactly what was going on.

I also want to repeat that the problem I had with the posting on the Guardian blog was not with Mr. Bates, but was strictly with those who responded to him. I was not accusing him or his paper of hypocrisy. I am careful not to post comments on my blog that are ad hominem, racist, or crude. I feel that the published comments in the Guardian failed such a test. If the Guardian doesn’t have such a filter, they need one.

My apologies again to Mr. Bates and the Guardian.
Tom Gray

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