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Checking the story

A couple weeks ago I called a local (i.e. Great Barrington) politician, Tony Blair, ((We call him “our Tony Blair.”)) to ask if he had really said what the newspapers reported, that if people in a particular neighborhood wanted a park they should pay for it themselves. This isn’t exactly how things work: taxes are actually meant to pay for things like parks. I know Tony and thought he must have been misquoted. But I was wrong. He really did say it, and insisted on explaining his reasons at length (“I called you back when I’m on vacation so you should let me tell you the whole story,” he said). I was glad I checked, nonetheless.

The point I want to make is that just because something is in a newspaper or book or blog doesn’t mean it’s accurate. I just checked an incoming link and found a repeat of last year’s article in which I am quoted about blogging right after the CEOs of Sun Microsystems and GM, one of the more hilarious sequences in the history of journalism. What struck me this time, however, is that absolutely nothing I am quoted as saying is accurate, except that I was indeed in China.

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