~ 23 April 2004 ~

The Lies That Catch You

USA Today star journalist Jack Kelly, who fabricated a number of the stories that he wrote for the paper, issued a statement via his lawyer:

I have made a number of serious mistakes that violate the values that are most important to me as a person and as a journalist. I recognize that I cannot make amends for the harm I have caused to my family, friends, and colleagues. Nor can I make it up to readers who depend upon good journalism to understand a chaotic and confusing world. I can only offer my sincere apology to those I have let down. Although I remain proud of much of the work I did over 21 years, I understand that what I did wrong will diminish what I did right.

The last line makes it sound a bit like he’s borrowing from Shakespeare:

The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones.

What I can’t understand is why Kelley, who professes to be an evangelical Christian, would resort to such tame language in his apology. Admitting a “mistake” is much different than admitting a lie. One can acutally make a mistake without incurring moral culpability. If Kelley had misheard what someone said and wrote it down, it would be a mistake. If he had misspelled someone’s name, it would be a mistake. A fabrication of a story or parts of stories is nothing short of a lie.

Now is not the time for Mr. Kelley to be touting how proud he is of “much of the work [he] did over 21 years.” He is caught, and should seek to reclaim his reputation not on what he has done in the past, but upon what he will do in the future.

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1 Comments:

  1. La Shawn Barber » 25 April 2004:

    There’s an article about him in the May 2004 issue of Christianity Today. I was unimpressed with his “contriteness.” But then again, only God knows the man’s heart. When I found out he was an evangelical, I was very disappointed, but that’ll be his cross to bear.

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