By Brad Friedman on 5/17/2005, 2:07pm PT  

Almost a full three weeks after the Chicago Tribune allowed their Public Editor, Don Wycliff, to write a foolish rebuttal to Robert Koehler's watershed column --- in which he said "the 2004 election was stolen, will someone please tell the media?" --- they have finally allowed Koehler a response by way of a letter in their hallowed pages.

It should be noted that the Trib never ran Koehler's original column, nor its followup, nor the original direct reply which Koehler wrote in response to Wycliff. In fact, the Tribune Media Services, in an unprecedented example of censorship at the organization, refused to allow Koehler's response to be published at all via the syndication service where Koehler has worked and published as editor and columnist for nearly a decade. A hastily compiled column crafted of letters that Koehler's received since the brouhaha began took its last minute place.

(We interviewed Koehler on our radio show a couple of weeks back discussing the spiking of that column. Here's the .MP3 archive of the interview, the Koehler interview begins at the :22 minute mark or so.)

In regards to the Trib finally allowing a response to Wycliff's article by anyone (they received hundreds of letters, only a single one of them was published, and that one didn't even speak to the 2004 election mess), Koehler wrote to us yesterday...

Amazing! After getting maybe 200 letters in response to Don Wycliff's column debunking the idea that there were any irregularities in the 2004 election, the Trib has actually printed a response to it. This is a far cry from actually covering the issue, but maybe it's a start. They felt enough pressure to realize they couldn't just make the issue go away by ignoring it.

You can read Koehler's letter in the Trib here.

We should also note that Don Wycliff finally answered our calls inviting him to give his side of the story on our radio show with a call from his secretary who informed us that "Don does not do radio."

We have no reason to doubt that's the truth. Nonetheless, if any of you good folks out there in Chicagoland happen to hear Mr. Wycliff on the radio, please do let us know won't you?

...CONTACTS...
Tribune Media Services Contact Page
Robert Koehler, Editor/Columnist/American Hero

Chicago Tribune Contact Page
Ann Marie Lipinski, Editor
R. Bruce Dold, Editorial Page Editor
James O'Shea, Managing Editor
N. Don Wycliff, Public Editor

UPDATE 5/18/05: Editor & Publisher, who has been doing a fine job of following the Koehler story, picks up on the latest story as well.