CORRECTION: That was not OUR Dave Crockett

Yesterday, I made a serious blunder. One of our regulars had brought my attention to the “fact” that another regular, Dave Crockett, had been in Liberia during the Ebola outbreak.

As I was plowing through a pile of email from the time I was at the beach last week, I passed this along. It was one of five similar posts, all based on emails that interested me and that I thought might interest you.

The trouble is, the fact wasn’t a fact.

Some time AFTER posting it (which is backwards timing), I started wondering about the Crockett post, and did some inconclusive Googling. I wasn’t able to confirm what I was assuming to be true — that the David Crockett in the story was our David Crockett. Finally, I did what I should have done first, which is check with our own Dave Crockett himself. His reply:

Yoiks, Brad!  Hell no, that wasn’t me!  There is a David Crockett who is a TV reporter out in Washington state and a psychologist by the same name in St. Louis, but I am neither!  The wildest trip I’ve made recently was Lake Lure, NC and all I came down with was a hangover one morning.  But thanks for asking…

So. I apologize to him, to the other David Crockett, and to all of you for my momentary carelessness. This was a mistake I would never have made in print. But when you’re plowing through tons of email, most of it mind-numbing, it’s just too easy to go, “Oh, THIS one is interesting!” Then copy, paste and share it with the world before moving on to the next email. And not stop to THINK until you’re done with all the hundreds of items in your In box.

What I left out was the actual journalism. And I’m very sorry, and embarrassed, about that. You know that item I posted (based on another email) about everybody needing an editor? Well, this is a far better example of the principle.

9 thoughts on “CORRECTION: That was not OUR Dave Crockett

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    I could try to make myself feel better by saying that in nine years of blogging, this is the first time I’ve published something so patently false.

    But it doesn’t. Make me feel better, that is.

    1. Doug Ross

      “this is the first time I’ve published something so patently false.”

      What about when you suggested John McCain would be a better President than Obama?

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    Taking down the previous, erroneous post meant unpublishing Dave’s comments elaborating on the subject, which I now share here:

    I just replied to your e-mail…but I’ll post my response here for the group:

    Yoiks, Brad! Hell no, that wasn’t me! There is a David Crockett who is a TV reporter out in Washington state and a psychologist by the same name in St. Louis, but I am neither! The wildest trip I’ve made recently was Lake Lure, NC and all I came down with was a hangover one morning. But thanks for asking. Kathryn, too.

    I should note that this isn’t the first time this confusion has occurred. I believe the other Dave Crockett covered the Mt. St. Helens explosion back in 1978 and I had a flurry of phone calls from friends asking me if I was OK.

    Nice to be thought of…. 😉 …

    Oh, and doing a little more noodling…I think the Dave Crockett in question is the same one who called me up many years ago when I still lived in Greenville and was news director of WQOK radio. Seems the other fellow had been getting calls periodically from United Press International (where I did some occasional stringer work). We had a lovely chat and discovered that we both claim kinship to THE Davy Crockett and, as we were both aware, THE Davy Crockett had…shall we say…a very strong and healthy libido. We BOTH had heard the family stories that Davy’s abrupt departure from Congress from Tennessee had more to do with being threatened by the angry husband of an acquaintance and less to do with voter discontent with his service.

    He also was very open to crossing racial divides in search of..uh…companionship. The other Mr. Crockett and I are apparently living proof of such…diversity.

    And now you know the rest of the story. I’m glad the other fellow is such a good person. I wouldn’t have to stones to go to West Africa.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      By the way, one of the factors contributing to my mistake was my vague memory I had of OUR Dave having mentioned living in Greenville…. For what that’s worth, which isn’t much…

      1. Dave Crockett

        Hey, I forgive your error. At least it wasn’t a flier at the Post Office you were mislead by… 😉

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Aaargh! That’s the version of Peter Guillam from the film version of “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.” For some reason the filmmakers completely changed the character. And I’m not just referring to the fact that they arbitrarily took an unambiguously heterosexual character (Guillam is about as close as le Carre comes to creating a James Bondish, skirt-chasing action hero) and made him gay, which was the more obvious change. The more fundamental change was his relationship to our hero, George Smiley. In the book, Guillam was Watson to Smiley’s Holmes, a protege and sidekick of many years’ standing. In the film, he hardly knows Smiley at the beginning, and they have to learn to trust each other during the plot. Weird. I see no good excuse for that, especially since it is essential to the plot that Peter be one of the few people Smiley can trust without question…

      The Guillam character in the TV version with Alec Guinness was true to the book….


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *