by Barbara Pierce
We recently received a request to retract a statement made in the November, 1997, issue of the Braille Monitor. If we become aware that an error has been made, we are, of course, eager to correct it as soon as possible. If, on the other hand, we believe that our information is accurate, we are equally emphatic in our refusal to retract. In any case, the lead story in the November issue was a report on Tom and Mary Ann Sember's lawsuit against the Braille Monitor and its resounding failure in the Pennsylvania courts. Early in the article the following text appears: "Larry Israel, now President and CEO of Telesensory, Inc., has been quoted as commenting that the Federation would learn its lesson this time around."
On December 15 I received the following e-mail letter from Mr. Israel:
In the November, 1997, article regarding the Sember lawsuit, you say that I have "been quoted as commenting that the Federation would learn its lesson this time around."
I have never made such a statement, publicly or privately, nor even any statement which could reasonably be interpreted as saying or implying that. It does not reflect any opinion I have ever held about the Federation. The alleged quotation suggests hostility or animosity on my part towards the NFB, which is untrue and not an accurate representation of my opinions.
I regret that you have seen fit to publish this unattributed, unsubstantiated, and untrue quotation and hope that you will publish this statement denying its truth. I also would have been pleased to provide you with a statement of denial prior to your publication had you called me to verify the alleged quotation or at least to determine if I had any comment about it.
Very truly yours,
Larry Israel, President/CEO
The source for the quotation, who did not wish to be identified, has repeatedly confirmed the accuracy of the statement he says he heard Mr. Israel make. We leave it to Monitor readers to draw their own conclusions from the discrepancy.