by Elliott Stonecipher
In twenty-two hours, by way of a torrent of blog posts, print articles, emails, radio show guest slots, phone calls, texts and tweets, the damage control seems done, at least for now. The erroneous reporting yesterday afternoon of my luncheon speech to the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge has been retracted, and a new article published in its place by the original source, the Baton Rouge Business Report.
Through last evening, and beginning again early this morning, many of those at the BRBR who are involved or and/or responsible, reached out to me, by telephone or email, including the reporter, his supervisor, Editor Stephanie Riegel, Executive Editor Penny Font and Publisher Rolfe McCollister, Jr. I thank them for their effort in correcting the originally published article.
I thank, too, Thomas Brown, III, the President of the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge, for his unsolicited social media post early this morning which refuted – 100% and emphatically – the original story. Given that he leads the Club, ran the meeting, and sat beside me as I spoke, there was no better person to set the record straight. That he did so spontaneously is all the more impressive.
Based on what I have learned, the reporter is not a full-time employee of the BRBR, and is new to the area and state. That he heard the precise opposite of the key points in my presentation is not something I am able to explain.
It will take more time to learn what I do not yet know. For now, we can all know this, if we did not already: a news media report which is exactly and precisely the opposite of what you believe and say – even with 250 very interested and conscientious witnesses – can quite literally make it to the internet and elsewhere, unimpeded.
I thank everyone who has taken such an interest, and supported the clean-up. In truth, I’ve been taken aback by the support. It has truly been the flip-side of the event!