... a gentleman by the name of David Sketchley has sent - to The Inquirer and to MediaLens - a complaint about a recent piece by my colleague Carlin Romano (Premature obit sends book's sales soaring). Mr. Sketchley thinks that Reuters and the New York Times both reported that Chavez did not refer to Noam Chomsky as having died and that Carlin was remiss in reporting that Chavez had said such.
Here is the text of an email I have sent Mr. Sketchley:
Dear Mr. Sketchley:
Carlin Romano was hardly the only person to believe that Hugo Chavez expressed regret over not having met Noam Chomsky before Chomsky's death. Perhaps Carlin had read this in the New York Times, Sept. 22:
A Scholar Is Alive, Actually, and Hungry for Debate
By MARC SANTORA
At a news conference after his spirited address to the United Nations on Wednesday, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela expressed one regret: not having met that icon of the American left, the linguist Noam Chomsky, before his death.
Or maybe this: Chávez endorsement results in a best-seller (please note: a combination of Reuters and the NY Times) .
It is also worth noting that the two articles I have just cited are dated Sept. 22, whereas the article that mentions Galbraith (Venezuela's Chavez Continues Anti - Bush Harangue) is dated Sept. 21. Perhaps the later version is correct and the earlier one was not.
I have been unable to find any transcript of Chavez's remarks at the news conference, so I can't say which version is correct. But Carlin was well within the bounds of reason to comment upon what had been so widely reported.
Update: Mr. Sketchley has indeed sent me a cordial, informative email in response to mine.