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The advertisement in question ("Samuel Huntington--Crime: Genocide") was a mistake. It contained "malicious and untrue" information, and we said as much in a retraction box printed twice. However, the important point is that the ad was a mistake--and not a deliberate attempt by CRIMSON to hide behind an anonymous ad while slandering a professor. The implication offered by the News Office and Mr. Jensen that CRIMSON members placed the ad is as irresponsible and untrue as the ad itself.
The authors of the News Office release were either misinformed about the background of the ad or else determined to misrepresent the facts. The ad was placed by a member of the University. The CRIMSON business secretary who accepted the ad did not know it was libelous. By the time any of the CRIMSON's editorial staff saw the ad, it had already been printed.
When I saw the ad and found out it was potentially libelous. I immediately ordered it cancelled. The person who bought the ad tried to insert it again. I turned him down, telling him that it was unacceptable and that it had subjected us to possible legal action. At Professor Huntington's request, the CRIMSON printed a formal retraction, apologizing for inadvertent harm done by the ad.
Admittedly, editors of the CRIMSON often have critical opinions about the University, its administrators, its teachers, and its students. When we have such things to say, we say them in our editorials or in signed pieces on our features pages. We try scrupulously not to say them in our news stories. We do not say them in unsigned advertisements. We wish that the University News Office had tried as hard to check some of its facts before it issued this most recent report (as well as earlier ones accusing the CRIMSON of purposely suppressing letters from Faculty members, when in fact we never received the letters). James M. Fallows, President
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