By now, you have probably read the bizarre interview done by the Lexington Herald Leader reporter Jerry Tipton with UK Freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. The interview in its original form is printed below after the Herald Leader did (once again) what it does when it makes mistakes…deletes them and hopes you forget. Here is how the interview was originally printed:
Question: Your father died of multiple gunshot wounds when you were 2 years old. How did that affect you?
Answer: It wasn’t just me. It was me and my mom. She didn’t know what to do. We had my grandma, too. My uncle Darrin (Kidd) was there, too. I want to play this game for him. That’s how it was.
Q: Wasn’t your father a good player?
A: I think he won a national championship (for Camden High School in New Jersey).
Q: You legally added “Kidd” to your last name. What influence did your uncle Darrin have in your life?
A: He was like my father in life. He taught me a lot.
Q: What stands out when you think of the lessons he taught you?
A: Family is first, and just stay humble.
Q: What led you to add your uncle’s name?
A: I had two fathers, basically, so that’s why I did it.
Q: Your uncle died of a heart attack the day you signed with Kentucky. What do you remember about a day of such highs and lows?
A: I woke up, (and) I was very excited. Then around 11 o’clock, I went (to my uncle’s house). I walked in, and he was laying on the floor. And my little cousin was right there.
Q: Your uncle had taught you how to perform CPR. Did you try to revive him?
A: I did. I dropped to the floor and was doing CPR.
Q: What happened?
A: No response.
Q: You asked UK to give you No. 14 because your father was born on April 14. Why?
A: I wanted to try something new. I wore ’31’ my whole life.
Q: Why did you wear No. 31?
A: He had that number in high school.
This morning, the Herald Leader changed the story in order to showcase the context of the question. Here is how the story now reads:
Now that makes a lot more sense doesn’t it? Husky Jerry is trying to relate to the kid and acknowledges a mutual held difficulty and asks how he has handled that adversity. In that context, Tipton actually looks like a reporter that cares, rather than someone who leads off with a question about death. However in so doing, one things becomes clear:
The Herald Leader CHANGED the wording of a question from what was actually asked before publishing it!
Think about that for a second. Jerry Tipton asked a question…Gilchrist answered it. Then an editor changed what was asked, without acknowledging that in the paper. That means that we got an answer to a question that wasn’t asked! The Herald Leader can respond by saying the edit was “for space”, but it turns out that the actual question was SHORTER THAN THE ONE THEY PUBLISHED! Why would they make such an edit? Probably because it was about Jerry’s personal life and they didn’t want to inject that in the story. But in so doing, they make Tipton seem heartless and take away the context of the question. And if they did it on this question, how many times has the Herald Leader changed a question for “space” edits? Here, it clearly changed the context of the interview. Have they done it before? And in what context? We don’t know.
We know newspapers are digging their own grave. Rick Bozich’s column earlier today was absurd and his arguments were made for a 3rd grade logic comprehension level. But at least he got the quotes right (even if leaving out their origin). The Herald Leader can’t even get that correct, and instead changes quotes and meaning without even so much as an apology or a mea culpa. In so doing, they played loose with the facts and made Jerry Tipton collateral damage. Keep up the good work Herald Leader…every decision seems a bit worse than the last.