I emailed Michael Finnegan, the reporter on the Thompson LA Times story, asking him to respond to the main remaining criticism of the article in my mind: why did the Times alter, without correction, its original version of the story to delete a reference to Thompson re-enacting a cowboy death scene at a supposed meeting with an abortion rights group?
Finnegan’s explanation seems reasonable to me, but I’ll post his response and let everybody judge for themselves:
The Thompson article was first posted on the LA Times website on Friday afternoon. It was replaced Saturday morning by the version that was published in the newspaper. The Times often reworks stories between the time of their initial posting on the web and their final publication in the newspaper. The print version is the one that we keep posted on the website. In this case, deletion of the movie reference was one of many final editing changes. Based on DeSarno’s account, the scene that she said Thompson reenacted appears to be from “Keep the Change,” a TNT television western that would have been in production around the time of the lunch and dinner that she described.
As far as I’m concerned, while I’d still like to see a “smoking gun” in the form of billing records, none of the criticisms of the Times story have held up to close scrutiny.
More on “Keep The Change” here.
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