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In The Hoop
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2001

Welcome to In The Hoop, Indianz.Com's occasional column about assorted Indian issues.

Yankee Foes
Would it be a surprise if In The Hoop told you a New England newspaper has been less than truthful in its dealings with Indian folk?

We've already told you about an scene we witnessed starring a certain Massachusetts reporter. We now have another "I'm so sorry, but not really" story from a Yankee publication. This time, it's The New London Day of Connecticut.

Yes, the same paper whose editors keep telling certain educated Indians not to work for tribes because -- heaven forbid -- Indian Country might actually get somewhere. But enough about us, let's talk about us!

On Sunday, The Day published a piece regarding a prospective politician's call to terminate the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe. This piece, according to an editor at the paper was "good and provocative."

It also happened to be the property of Indianz.Com.

Yet the article was so good and provocative that deputy editor Greg Stone decided Indianz.Com didn't deserve credit for it. Instead, he attributed it to Tim Love, a former Penobscot chief who also runs the New England Coalition for Justice, a group affiliated with the Mashantucket Tribe.

But like Custer at the Last Stand, Mr. Stone had an excuse.

It turns out Mr. Love had e-mailed our article to The Day and urged the paper to print it. "Mr. Love forwarded us the article, recommending that we publish it, but it appeared through no intention of his that he wrote it," said Mr. Stone in an e-mail.

OK, seems acceptable. But did the paper actually try to verify the origin of the story?

"Yes, I did try to contact Mr. Love, unsuccessfully," said Mr. Stone. "However, we know him and recognized his e-mail address, and merely drew the wrong conclusion that he wrote the piece."

Hmm. Sort of believable. We're not history experts but we do remember how much easier it is to take something from an Indian by saying it belonged to another one.

Mr. Stone then apologized for his mistake and said he would run a correction, which he did today. We thanked him but cautioned the paper not to print any responses to our piece, since publication by a third party was not authorized.

Here's where Mr. Stone started to retract his apology.

"I can't censor the responses of our readers, anymore than you would want to control responses you receive to the articles and editorials from The Day that you publish on your website without our consent," he wrote, presumably sitting atop a white horse upon a white hill, probably near Martha Stewart's mansion.

That wasn't what necessarily had us questioning the paper's ethical behaviors, though. It was what Mr. Stone said about the e-mail he received from Mr. Love.

"There is no indication on the e-mail that the article is protected by a copyright," Mr. Stone said.

Now, we aren't experts on "technology." After all, we're just a bunch of Ivy-league educated Indians who run a web site. But we're pretty sure that any article Mr. Love sent to the paper indicated it was the property of Indianz.Com.

And, what do you know? It did.

Mr. Love was kind enough to apologize for something he didn't do, but he was also kind enough to send us a copy of the e-mail he sent to the paper.

Now, we aren't experts on the English language, but we can read. And we are pretty sure the e-mail plainly show the copyright. "Indianz.Com" is mentioned four times in the e-mail too.

As if the story weren't over yet, Mr. Stone sent another note. "Actually, come to think of it, it would hard for us to publish responses to the article, since they would be addressed to Mr. Love, and he didn't write it," he said. "That's really too bad, because the article was good and provocative. Did you write it?"

Now we aren't experts on history, but we know Yankees tricked Indians out of their property first by praising them and then by stealing it.

Nice try.

We also know that if In The Hoop supplied the author's name to Mr. Stone, the paper would simply attribute it to him or her, and then publish a barrage of anti-Indian responses calling on tribes to be terminated.

Oh wait, The Day already publishes those types of responses.

Oops.

Guess you can't win them all.

In Your Hoop
What's your favorite anti-Indian publication? Email In the Hoop and let us know.

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