Day Seven of Stengel-gate: I Write a Letter to David Eisner, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Constitution Center
[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here. Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]
Exactly seven days ago I published here at Patterico’s Pontifications a piece outlining thirteen clear factual errors in Richard Stengel’s essay on the Constitution. The next day, I published a substantially similar piece at Big Journalism, and by then the list of errors had grown to fourteen.
I said at the time that I considered it a journalistic scandal that such an error-ridden piece appeared in Time magazine, a once-respected publication. I have dubbed this scandal “Stengel-gate.” I also considered it scandalous because of who the author, Richard Stengel, was:
The author is not only the Managing Editor for Time, but he spent two years as President and CEO of the National Constitution Center. And even today, he works with the National Constitution Center’s Peter Jennings Project for Journalists and the Constitution, whose stated mission is “to help both professional journalists and students interested in journalism understand constitutional issues more deeply.” That is right. He is there to help journalists understand the Constitution better.
It has been seven days, and reportedly Patterico’s got six thousand hits in an hour, a week ago, very likely because of my original piece. The story has even appeared on Fox News. And yet there is apparently no correction, no retraction of the story, or even a defense of it.
So frankly in an effort to keep the heat on, I decided to explore the other end of the scandal: what on earth was he doing working at something called the National Constitution Center? I plan to spend several days discussing that issue and to kick it off, I decided to write a letter to its current President and CEO, the man holding the position that Richard Stengel once occupied: David Eisner.
So tonight I have written to him directly. You can see the letter I wrote below the fold (the format is slightly altered by wordpress itself).
I do not know if he will respond or how he will respond. But whatever his reaction is, even a non-response, will reflect on him and his organization. And that in and of itself is noteworthy.