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shiflett (3841)

shiflett
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http://shiflett.org/

I own a small PHP consultancy located in New York. I just finished writing my first book for O'Reilly, entitled Essential PHP Security. Yes, I'm a PHP guy hanging out on a Perl site.

Journal of shiflett (3841)

Monday November 24, 2003
10:48 PM

On Being Quoted

[ #15994 ]

I don't think I've ever been quoted before. While at ApacheCon, I went to see if there were any free Cokes left from lunch for Casey and I, and my quest was briefly interrupted by someone from Linux Today who wanted to ask me a question. I agreed, thinking she was going to ask some insightful question about Apache, open source, or something relevant. Nope, she asked me about SCO. How boring.

I basically expressed my lack of interest and indicated that the news from Slashdot was about all that I knew of SCO's actions. What ended up in the article was quite a bit different. The statements attributed to me aren't necessarily things that I disagree with (although I have no idea what four things in Linux I could possibly be talking about), but it is weird having quotes made up and attributed to me. I know a lot of open source developers are quoted pretty often. Is this pretty much the way it goes?

I wonder if Tim really said the things attributed to him in a similar article by the same writer.

I never did find any Cokes. Sorry, Casey. :-)

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  • A journalist should never just "make shit up". Even if you don't disagree. This goes way beyond anything I've ever heard of (and I've been quoted quite a lot in the last year or so). Once or twice I've had a journalist twist what I've said slightly to make a better story, or in one case, give what I said a whole new meaning, but never by just making up words I never said.
  • I wonder if what happened was just sloppy note taking, attributing real quotes to the wrong person. after all, with all the posters, tshirts, and badges around she still managed to get the name of the conference wrong - messing up an individual's name isn't too much of a stretch from that bit of quality journalism...
    • Yeah, I guess that could be it. She did have a notepad, although I think she jotted down a total of two words during our brief conversation (which doesn't make me think she was trying very hard to get anything right).

      I was much more interested in the Coke than with SCO. :-)

  • During the past two months, I have personally dealt with journalists in print, TV, and radio. Most of the stuff that ends up on the American news is a load of crap. Most of them seem to have the story already written, and they are just looking to fill in quotes. War zones is not the only place that happens though. (Although you might read Ann Garrels' Naked In Baghdad or Jon Lee Anderson's pieces for the New Yorker to get a glimpse of how a lot of news organizations covered the war.)

    Almost anyone can g
    • you got steered to the SCO thing really quickly---no chit chat to size you up as a credible source---just a name and a quote?

      Yeah, although I did have one of those enormous ApacheCon badges with the speaker ribbon, so she may have assumed I was important enough. Her story seemed to be to get the "buzz" about SCO at ApacheCon and Comdex, but she just didn't find the buzz she was looking for.

      In any case, if you do not want to be quoted, do not even talk to journalists.

      That's good advice, but I never re

    • When the reporters from the Rhode Island were sniffing around our camp a couple of weeks ago, I did not even answer "What's your name", and everytime they tried to take a photo with me, I covered my face.
      You just didn't want to tell them how to properly typeset your name :)
  • No worries. :-)
    --
    Casey West