Month: June 2010

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil

Most newspapers, magazines, publishers, news organizations, major networks, local television stations, writers, reporters, newscasters, TV hosts, celebrities, and other media entities usually take time to report their own mistakes by providing corrections. Your local newspaper most likely features a daily section where the editors note their errors and then provide the accurate information– at times, some attempt is made to explain the reasons behind the mistake. Errors range from serious subjects such as the information concerning a murder case or simply the misspelling of a name. Most anyone concerned about their reputation will make the effort to admit their errors because they know that the failure to do so says more about them than their mistakes.

Here are two examples of corrections from The New York Times:

SCIENCE TIMES – The Basics column on June 1, about the researcher J. Craig Venter’s claim to have created the first “synthetic cell,” included an incorrect reference to Mycoplasma, the bacteria Dr. Venter’s team used in its work. Unlike nearly all other types of bacteria, Mycoplasma lack cell walls; they do not have a “stiffer bacterial wall.”

SPORTS – An article on Tuesday about the final days of a special mitt used to catch the knuckleballs thrown by Mets pitcher R. A. Dickey while a new one is broken in misstated the date it became obvious the old glove was no longer reliable enough to use. It was after a game in Baltimore on June 11, not on May 18.

Other online media sites also offer daily corrections: – Fort Wayne Indiana

Because of a reporting error, the times for showings of “The Joneses” and “Toy Story 3” at Coldwater Crossing were incorrect on Page 3W of Friday’s Weekender.

Seattle Times online

Movies – ‘Knight and Day’ traps Cruise, Diaz and the film’s audience

“North by Northwest” starred Eva Marie Saint and Cary Grant. An earlier version of this story incorrectly indicated it was Saint and Jimmy Stewart.

Local – Famed fishmonger plans a sea change

A previous version of this article, originally published May 29, incorrectly identified employee Justin Hall and misspelled the first name of Tim Fitzgerald. The article was corrected June 2, 2010.

The Seattle Times posted this statement on its website: “Requesting corrections – strives to make news reports fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call 206-464-3310 or e-mail

On May 24, 2010, I posted my review of Steve Hodel’s book MOST EVIL, a review which completely debunked virtually every claim regarding the author’s map presentations. In the month since the review was posted, Hodel has made no effort whatsoever to publicly address this issue or the fact that his entire map presentation in MOST EVIL is pure fiction posing as irrefutable fact. Instead, Hodel has continued to ignore the fact that his book has been debunked. Whatever attempts he may have made to comment on this issue have apparently been posted in a private message board, hidden from public view. Readers who paid the cover price for Hodel’s book shelled out more than $20 bucks only to be deceived by the author. If they would like to read whatever explanation Hodel may offer for his actions, these poor suckers must now shell out $10 more in order to gain access to that message board– a situation which only adds further insult to an already inexcusable injury.

Hodel’s website now features this frightening announcement: “June 15, 2010,  Los Angeles – Today I ‘officially’ start work and writing on BOOK III.” Those who care about this case, the facts, and common decency would view this news as a sad commentary on this case and the current state of the “true” crime genre. Hodel is rushing to start his third book without even bothering to address the undeniable fact that the map presentations in his second book have been thoroughly debunked. Hodel’s actions constitute a very clear statement of contempt for the truth, the public, his readers, and YOU.

We could all excuse Hodel’s mistakes if they had been honest mistakes. However, the facts prove that there are only two possible explanations for Hodel’s amazingly incorrect presentations in MOST EVIL.

1) Hodel knew his presentations were pure garbage and decided to peddle them to the public as fact anyway.

2) Hodel made no effort to check his own work and he thought his presentations were actually correct.

Personally, I think #1 is the most likely explanation, yet, Steve Hodel cannot be trusted in either scenario. He is still unwilling to admit that his map presentations were completely inaccurate and his claims therefore without merit. Given his actions, one has to wonder why anyone would want to read or even buy his third book? If he could make such obvious mistakes and base his conclusions on his erroneous presentations, one has to ask why should anyone expect anything different in his third volume, especially when he is unwilling to post a simple retraction and/or correction regarding the errors in his second?

The book MOST EVIL is filled with factual errors and fatally flawed claims concerning the Zodiac crime scenes, California geography and basic geometry, yet Steve Hodel has refused to post a correction or retraction. Instead, the “New York Times best-selling author” has chosen to ignore the truth about his book and announce his plans for a sequel. The New York Times would have printed a correction within days if its writers had simply misspelled Hodel’s name. This irony reminds us that we live a very bizarre and insane world.