Re: Robert X. Cringely, redux.

I Find Karma (
Fri, 18 Apr 97 12:20:41 PDT

Well, after FoRKposting about the Robert X. Cringely article that
appeared in the Wall Street Journal last summer, the real Robert X.
Cringely wrote me, to set the record straight.

So, to clear his good name...

> Dear Adam,
> Let me tell you a story about how the Wall Street Journal checks its
> facts:
> 1) The writer claims to have discussed me with officials of Stanford
> University.
> 2) The Stanford registrar, however, claims never to have received a call
> from the Journal. "They know we don't give out information about
> students. Maybe they called the Alumni Association."
> 3) The Stanford Alumni Association can't remember a call from the
> Journal, but they do answer such queries, providing information from the
> Alumni directory.
> 4) I call the writer and ask whether he talked with the registrar or
> the Alumni Association? Alumni Association. Ask them when my
> information was last updated and what they list as my current address.
> 5) The writer never calls the Alumni Association back, because the
> story is old and he doesn't care. In fact, the information in the
> Alumni directory dates from 1979 and lists my current address as
> Atlanta.
> 6) I offer to show to the Journal writer my PhD diploma from 1981, but
> he isn't interested. It would ruin a good (bad) story.
> 7) My speaking fee is now $10,000.
> All the best,
> Bob

Moral of the story is, don't believe everything that you read in the
Wall Street Journal. Corollary to that moral is, don't believe
everything that you read, period. Corollary to that corollary is,
don't believe anything that you read, period. That's not cynicism, it's
just good sense. Until you get your facts first-hand, you cannot really
trust them.


The novelist has more and more to say to readers who have less and less
time to read: where to find the energy to engage a culture in crisis
when the crisis consists in the impossibility of engaging with the
-- Jonathan Franzen, Harper's Magazine