Norman Lebrecht and unchecked trivia
'For years, the British critic Norman Lebrecht has been throwing firebombs in the world of classical music, denouncing what he sees as industry evils in a provocative style that has sometimes been described as accuracy-challenged. On Thursday, in an unusually crushing act of contrition, his publisher agreed to recall his latest book, destroy it, say “Sorry” and promise not to do it again — all over a few pages discussing Naxos Records and its founder, Klaus Heymann. The book, “Maestros, Masterpieces & Madness: The Secret Life and Shameful Death of the Classical Record Industry,” was released in Britain in July. Mr. Heymann sued the publisher, Penguin Books, in the High Court of Justice, saying the book wrongly accused him of “serious business malpractices” based on false statements. He cited at least 15 statements he called inaccurate. Despite the suit, Mr. Heymann said he did not think the book had a “negative impact” on his reputation. “But,” he added, “I don’t think somebody like Lebrecht should get away with 20 or 30 errors in a five-page article" ' - Reports today's New York Times.Don't say I didn't tell you.
'Until bloggers deliver hard facts … paid for newspapers will continue to set the standard as the only show in town ... that is the real scandal and it could have been exposed had the blogger taken the trouble to check his scoop ... the supposed fraud shows up the flaws of a classical blogosphere that trades in unchecked trivia ... online blogs won't become required reading until they start focussing on the facts’ - wrote Norman Lebrecht in the Evening Standard on 8 November 2006.
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