Day Fifteen of Stengel-gate: The National Constitution Center Ducks the Issue
[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here. Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]
Background: a few weeks back Time magazine published, as its cover story, an article by Richard Stengel. Reading it, I was stunned to discover fourteen clear factual errors in his piece, and I have been on a bit of a crusade since then to force Time to either correct or retract the article. And I have been examining how other media outlets and organizations have treated Stengel.
One of the things that bothered me in particular about Richard Stengel was his association with the National Constitution Center. As I wrote at the time:
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.
So I decided to write to David Eisner, head of the National Constitution Center and see if they had any opinion on the rank incompetence on display. As you might recall I asked him two questions:
First, what is Mr. Stengel’s exact role in the National Constitution Center? Specifically, does he teach others about the Constitution?
Second, does the National Constitution Center have any official statement regarding the serial inaccuracies that appeared in Time, a national magazine, regarding the Constitution?
He wrote back to me with a brief “we’re working on it” message (that’s my gloss, not a quote) and I waited patiently.
Well, their response has finally come, in the form of an official post at their blog. In a post entitled “Weigh in on Time’s Controversial Constitution Issue” simply notes that there is a controversy, but for the most part they refuse to take sides. So you get this one ridiculous passage: