September 30, 2009

"We will act ethically."

Or so promises the Journal Broadcast Group, local radio "personality" Charlie Sykes's corporate minders.

Sykes, by falsely attributing to Chris Liebenthal a statement he never made, has clearly betrayed that promise. Sykes has provided no evidence to the contrary, and the proprietor of the website from which Sykes reproduced the statement has since acknowledged that someone other than Mr. Liebenthal has been "spoofing" his user ID.

The ease of doing so was demonstrated here.

Acting ethically, in accordance with the Journal Broadcast Group's own published statement of "Vision and Values," would demand that its employee Charlie Sykes issue both a complete retraction and a public apology to Mr. Liebenthal.

False attribution is not an acceptable component of political speech. One's reputation might be exposed to public contempt and ridicule for something that they did say, but not for something that they didn't.

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