From the Mouth of…
Or in this case, NOT from the mouth of Brian Wood. Read on.
I’ve been following the Tess Fowler/Brian Wood story all week, starting from the initial tweets, to articles being written by comic sites, to Wood’s statement, to the aftermath. In the aftermath, there’s been some talk bandied about concerning one small part of a larger article posted on the Beat. In the article, the author made the claim that they reached out to Brian Wood for a comment. Here’s that section screenshot from the article itself as it now reads:
“Declined to comment”.
This portion of the article prompted Brian Wood to tweet the following:
Why the difference in phrasing? “Declined to comment” vs “No Comment”. I’ve seen people suggest it was semantics on Brian Wood’s part. That in essence, by declining to comment, it is the same thing as saying “no comment”.
Except this isn’t the case.
As I said above, I followed the story in its earliest stages. I read that Beat article before it even had 5 comments. I read followups. I read Brian Wood’s above tweet. And then I read later reactions nitpicking his version vs what was showing up on the Beat as snapshot above. And something was making me scratch my head. Because something wasn’t right. Something seemed off from what I remember originally reading. Why would Brian Wood write “no comment”? Why, in the comments to the Beat article, would one of the posters repeat the “no comment” phrase if the article claims Wood “declined to comment”?
Because the author changed the article.
Here’s the original paragraph screenshot from the Beat’s own Tumblr page:
There it is. “No comment”.
That’s why Wood used that phrase in his tweet. That’s why one of the comments on the Beat’s original article uses the phrase “no comment”. Because it was written as ‘he responded with a “no comment”‘.
Here’s the link to the tumblr post. I’m not sure how much longer before it too is changed or even deleted.
Maybe the author thought she was going to receive a “no comment” by the time the article was to be posted. Who knows? What I do know is I’ve read past articles from the Beat wherein the author will chide younger, less experienced bloggers on “the rules” of the game. So where’s the “edited” footnote to ward off the confusion? If it was changed because of Wood’s above Tweet, where’s the apology to Wood? I see finger pointing, but where’s the accountability for the author’s own fairly huge misstep in reportage?
None of this is my way of siding with Wood on the much much MUCH more important discussion of all the allegations and the industry and such. It’s just my way of saying: Hey. Something’s not right here. I know what I read. And what was originally posted has been changed. And, without clearly noting on the original article that there was a change, some are using it as one more piece of evidence to discredit Wood.
This piece of evidence at least can now be thrown out.