Earlier today, I wrote a post that attacked Tony Paul and the Detroit News for a collection of articles on Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski. Essentially, I accused Paul of ripping off a similar series written by Kurt Mensching at Mack Avenue Tigers.
I've been informed by Mr. Paul that he was assigned to write his stories on Dombrowski more than a month ago, and the pieces were submitted to his editor in early November. Proof of this was provided from the e-mail that was used to send in the stories.
Before angrily typing out my post, I should've contacted Mr. Paul and inquired as to the origins of his series of articles. I made some rather inflammatory accusations, ones which everyone working in the traditional and new media should take very seriously. To say that I didn't give the author a chance to defend himself is more than a fair criticism.
Obviously, these are issues I'm defensive about. (Perhaps over-defensive is a better description.) Past tensions between independent blogs and traditional media have created a sensitivity over the years, one which I'm typically quick to act upon. (I concede that these tensions have become a tiresome issue, and I shouldn't have brought it into this community.) Kurt is also a friend and colleague, and the idea that his hard work may have been co-opted angered me. I let both of those factors affect my judgment.
I apologize to Tony Paul (and, in turn, the Detroit News) for any accusations that may have called his integrity into question. I should've extended him the same courtesy that I demanded he show toward Kurt (and the Tigers blogosphere at-large) earlier today. Coincidences do, in fact, occur. I also apologize to you, the BYB readers, for making such a production out of this.