Unfair coverage of honest error | TheUnion.com

Unfair coverage of honest error

Most business people that make a mistake lawyer-up and hide behind their attorneys and insurance companies. But when Bruce Ivy discovered that one of his employees had made a mistake, he accepted responsibility and apologized in writing, made a good faith offer to the damaged party, and backed that offer up with a check. For that, he gets vilified on the front page of your paper. What a crock.

A good reporter would have included in that story that the employee involved had been explicitly instructed by Bruce Ivy not to cut trees on the Williams’ property, but simply made an honest mistake. An accurate story would have stated that the Williams had extensively logged their property prior to this unfortunate mistake. But those facts didn’t square with the reporter’s prejudices, and they contradicted the “little old lady in tennis shoes vs. gonzo builder” story line that sells newspapers in this county.

Many good people decline to get involved in community affairs because they don’t want to expose themselves and their families to the abuse heaped on honest, hard-working people by sloppy or malevolent reporters, and by zealots of all persuasions that cannot separate the message from the messenger. This obvious hatchet job visited on the community-spirited Bruce Ivy by The Union aptly illustrates the merit of that fear. Our communities lose when good people like Bruce Ivy are deterred from remaining active in community issues to avoid the risk of unfounded character assassination.

Next time, get your facts straight and have your reporter check his prejudices at the editor’s desk.

Bob Tamietti


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