On Tuesday (5/29/07), we published this post. We wrote how a recent book review in the Los Angeles Times didn't bother to disclose that the author of the reviewed book, Gustavo Arellano, happens to be a contributing editor to the Times.
This morning I opened the Times to find this on page A2:
For the Record
May 31, 2007
Mexican book: A review in Friday's Calendar section of Gustavo Arellano's book "¡Ask a Mexican!," a compilation of his columns by the same name for OC Weekly, should have added that Arellano is also a contributing editor to the Los Angeles Times' Opinion page.
Well! I guess the Times's "Readers' Representative" received my e-mail and read our article!
Kudos to the Times for acknowledging their lack of proper disclosure.
(By the way, writer Arellano responded to our article with this blog post. He agreed with me that the Times "should’ve stated I do write commentary for the Times." Up to that, he's fine. But then he calls me a not-so-nice Spanish slang word (warning: link has lots o' profanity) and states that I implied that his employment by the Times meant that he could never be criticized in the paper. Sorry, bro, but I never said that. In a addition to a letter to the editor (a woman doesn't like Gustavo!), Arellano points to a short "Culture Mix" column written a week earlier by a Times staffer who's obviously not a big fan of Gustavo. The "Culture Mix" guy has a bit to say about Gustavo's penchant for publicity, and he challenges the content and tone of Arellano's articles and book. But, lo and behold, despite the unflattering content, the column is not a book review (and that's an important point); the "Culture Mix" column publicizes a book-signing event for Arellano. ("Culture Mix"; get it? The same column also promoted a Cuban music festival.))