Editor has reporter's confessional column removed, updated with explanation

Jeff Meade's boastful column in the Monroe, Mich., Evening News about sins he committed as a reporter -- making up quotes, getting two sets of quotes from a coach so he could quickly write up a game no matter the outcome -- is no longer online. (Here's a cached copy.)

Meade emailed me Thursday:

I've gotten a lot of response, some of it outrage, most of it negative. My sports editor thought the column was funny. My editor is on vacation, so I'll find out next week if she didn't like it. So far, I still have a job. Most of the incidents happened when I was in my 20s and now I'm in my 50s, so maybe the statute of limitations has run out.

Reached by phone Friday morning, Meade said he thinks the column was taken down Thursday night, but he didn't know by whom.

I've tried to reach Niles Kruger, his editor, and Deborah Saul, the paper's editor (whom Meade said is on vacation) without luck so far.

Update: Meade emailed an explanation and update Friday night:

My editor ordered it taken down because she said it lacked context that needed to be added  -- all but one of the incidents happened more than 30 years ago and the column made it look like they were still going on. It's back online now with comments added at the top.

This now appears at the top of the column:

First, a side note. I have been asked (told) to add context since this column first was published Tuesday. All but the first incident happened more than 30 years ago at my first job in the business at another newspaper. I am not recommending any of this. Do not try this at home. I wouldn’t do any of them again except for the last item because I believe everything is on the record unless a reporter agrees otherwise.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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