To the Editors of The Crimson:
It's wonderful to have access to a printing press, isn't, it, even when what you publish with it ("The Globe's Here...Substantially," 8/9/85) is incorrect.
If you had been following the Lakian trial you would know that I used the words "substantially true" as did our attorneys in court, precisely because of their meaning in legal terms. Their reference to libel, specifically, as stated in our legal briefs, is this: "The allegedly defamatory statements contained in the article need not be literally true for them to be protected, but rather must only be 'substantially true.'(There follow five legal citations which I'd be delighted to share with you, but shall not bother your readers with at this time.) Continuing. "As one court has phrased it, only 'the substance, the girl, the sting of the libelous charge' need be true for the speech to be protected. (More citations follow.) And so forth.
Our attorneys and we conceded minor errors in the piece at the start of the trial. We regret them and have said so many times. They came to light only after publication of the article, through the long and arduous process of pre-trial discovery and deposition. Our position in and out of court was that despite them, the article was "substantially true" and that the errors were neither intentional nor published with reckless disregard for the truth. In this we have asked to be upheld by the court. Michael C. Janeway '62 Editors The Boston Globe