To the editor:
There was a bit of irony in Friday's Journal-World. In a story on the sports front ("Williams disappointed by flag flap"), Gary Bedore reported how upset men's basketball coach Roy Williams was upon reading a column in Tuesday's University Daily Kansan.
The column accused Williams of suspending the color guard from basketball games and asked basketball fans to refrain from cheering for "a man who won't go to bat for the flag."
The problem with the column was that it did not give Williams or the Athletics Department a chance to defend themselves. It wasn't balanced, and it didn't tell both sides of the story.
What was the irony of Bedore's story? It wasn't balanced, and it didn't tell both sides of the story; he failed to call the Kansan.
Had Bedore called me, as editor of the Kansan I would have affirmed that yes, the Kansan did run a clarification in which we apologized to Williams. In fact, the clarification ran on our front page and was followed the next day by a story about the color guard.
I would have reminded Bedore that the column was written by Robert Chamberlain, and while it was ultimately my responsibility to keep it out of the paper, it was an opinion piece and did not necessarily represent the views of the Kansan.
Finally, I would have told Bedore that while inexperience is no excuse for the column that ran Tuesday, the Kansan is a student newspaper. It's a place to practice and a place to learn. All of us learned a lot Tuesday when we realized what a mess that column had made.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to explain these things. The Kansan didn't call Williams. And Bedore didn't call us.
Leita Walker, editor,
University Daily Kansan