Friday, February 04, 2005

Copy editor catching libel?

Women's Wear Daily is reporting on the firing of a New York Post copy editor in its Memo Pad column.
It is possible to be too conservative for The New York Post after all. According to a source at the Post, one of its copy editors, born-again Christian Dawn Eden, apparently embellished a Jan. 18 editorial about stem-cell research during the editing process. Her version of the story — which slammed New York Senate Minority Leader David Paterson’s plan for a state-sponsored stem-cell institute as a "harebrained scheme" — made it into print.
I have no idea why the magazine is gossiping about such a thing or why readers would care, but there it is.

Eden has a blog, the Dawn Patrol, and she denies the accusation there today.
This is a complete lie and it can easily be disproved. I have official Post documentation relating the circumstances of my departure, which I have thus far kept confidential. I do not know whether this story was spread by someone attempting to make me publicly reveal those circumstances. In any case, I will not do so at this time, because this utter falsehood may be disproved without opening my personal records.

As a copy editor on the NEWS copy desk and not the EDITORIAL PAGE department, I had NO computer access to the editorials. I would only see them when they were on page proofs, where I would mark grammar and spelling corrections ONLY. These page proofs were then given to the editorial-page editors, who would make the changes themselves. I never once while I was at the Post accessed an editorial in a manner that I could possibly make any change without the editors' full and complete knowledge.
I'm trying to imagine quitting or being fired and then ending up reading about it in a magazine ... still trying ... still trying ... Nope, can't see it happening.

Admittedly, Eden may be more well known than many other copy editors. She's a former pop music critic (with interviews with the Animals' Alan Price and GBV's Bob Pollard under her belt). She's a regular DJ at a New York club. And Gawker did a "Five Questions" feature on her in August. (Gawker, by the way, is where I first read about this mess.)

But what is this doing in a magazine? Especially when it seems unconfirmed and so far-fetched? I'm befuddled.


At 7:52 PM, February 04, 2005, Blogger Phillip Blanchard said...

>>Eden may be more well known than many other copy editors.<<

Nonsense. She's a complete unknown compared with Bill Walsh and John McIntyre.

At 8:28 PM, February 04, 2005, Blogger Dawn said...

Nicole, thanks for seeing that there is more here than meets the eye. As I wrote in my blog entry, I am examining my options. I will have much more to say about this as soon as I am able—which should be very soon.

At 9:14 PM, February 04, 2005, Blogger Nicole said...

Different circles, Phil.

And Dawn, I think we're all wondering what the rest of the story is. As it stands, it seems bizarre.


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