advice from a fake consultant

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Friday, October 19, 2007

On Errata, Or, Your Author Apologizes

Although your friendly fake consultant tries to bring news that is interesting and accurate, I am obligated to apologize for and to correct two significant recent errors, which is the purpose of today’s conversation.

In both cases the “victims” are easily identifiable and public, and as a result we will offer a personal apology to each of them as well.

So with the introduction out of the way, let’s get to the salient facts.

The last story I published (On Solutions, Or, Congressman Reichert, I Believe You Were Looking For This) began by asserting that Democrats are unable to articulate a vision that will extract us from the Iraq mess.

When I posted this story at the (Washblog), however, I was reminded that Bill Richardson and Dennis Kucinich have articulated such plans.

To be perfectly frank, I did not remember the positions of either Kucinich or Richardson when considering the candidates…and I actually sit through most of the debates.

Had I chosen my words more carefully I might have said that none of the major candidates for the Democratic nomination can offer such a vision, or I might have pointed out that few voters are able to identify any Democratic candidate’s vision for ending the war.

But I did not say either of those things, and as a result I owe Bill Richardson and Dennis Kucinich my apologies.

Sorry about that, gentlemen.
My bad.

I have one other example of how poor research can cause you to have to publicly ask forgiveness-and it took place in the story that set up the last one.

In that story I reported that Representative Dave Reichert is the Member representing Fort Lewis, Washington, when in fact the base is located in Washington’s 9th District…making Adam Smith their Representative.

In this case, I misread a map, which caused the error.

Interestingly, I sent a note to Reichert’s office pointing him to the original posting, and it’s replication at Kos, with an invitation to respond and correct any misimpressions or inaccuracies that might exist, and there was no response correcting my rather blatant error.

But that doesn’t really matter in the end-I made the error, and for that I apologize to the Congressman, and to you, the readers that are kind enough to look to me for interesting and useful news.

Having taken a day to review my methods, I feel confident that this is a failure that is not systemic, but was instead related to individual failures in each story.

As a result, I continue to move forward with stories currently under development, and you’ll see the product of that work over the next few days.

As for the future…I will be working harder than before to be as close to 100% accurate as I can be-but knowing that no one’s perfect, I suspect there will come a time when we have this conversation again.

Let’s just hope it’s not too soon.

As I’m writing this it is alternately cloudy and sunny, which is an excellent allegory for this situation-the work goes well, then a cloud or two obscure the good work, and then the sun comes out again, and you take advantage of that to get out and renew your commitment to getting the job done.

So once again, my apologies to everyone involved, my thanks for your “patronage”, and we’ll see you in a couple days with another story to tell.

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