If people think Esquire, or publications/sites like it, are a reputable publication(s), they need to check out other times where the people that write for them have misquoted celebrities, twisted things around, or sometimes downright lied about their subject.
In all three cases and possibly more, quotes were attributed to celebrities that were twisted around or completely false, and some even tried to claim a tape existed of the interview. In the case of fashion designers Liz Claiborne and Tommy Hilfiger, they reportedly went on Oprah and made racist remarks.
The media went wild about these stories...the problem?
*Both Liz and Tommy NEVER appeared on Oprah prior to these stories being written about them, although Tommy did go on to clear his name at a later date.
If Esquire and other publications like it have been PROVEN to lie, then why is it so hard for people to believe that Val Kilmer is also a victim here.
Obviously, Esquire is not going to admit to having lied, and if they have such taped evidence, then why didn't they produce it from the onset?
You Disproved Your Own Point
We're glad to see you're still engaged, and we must say, you get 5 stars for your loyalty and for "standing by your man."
Beyond that, your logic is non-existent.
The first point to take away from your comments is that Esquire
and all other publications, both online and off are suspect, but Snopes.com is infallible. You're saying, "If Snopes said it, it must be true."
Yet throughout your exchanges with us, you are faulting us for believing something was true because it appeared in Esquire
. Another example of the pot calling the kettle black. He who lives in glass house should not throw rocks.
Here's what we mean --
You cited three articles on Snopes.com to prove this point:
"If people think Esquire, or publications/sites like it, are a reputable publication(s), they need to check out other times where the people that write for them have misquoted celebrities
, twisted things around, or sometimes downright lied about their subject."
Yet, not one of the three stories that you cited hint in any way that Esquire
, or the people who write for it, have "misquoted celebrities, twisted things around, or sometimes downright lied about their subject."
In the first article you cite, the flap arose from a Spike Lee quote that appeared in Esquire
, claiming that Liz Claiborne made an unflattering remark about blacks on the Oprah Winfrey Show
There is no allegation that Lee was misquoted. The problem is that the story Lee himself related to Esquire
was false, and Esquire
apparently accurately printed what he said.
Snopes.com says, "Spike Lee's contribution to this rumor's progress was an important one because his stature caused confidently-stated misinformation to appear in the pages of a widely-read magazine where even greater numbers would see it and likely believe it
. As powerful as urban legends are, they become even more persuasive when authoritatively voiced by celebrities."
What Ms. Mikkelson (the Snopes.com editor) is saying there is that because it appeared in Esquire, it is more likely to be believed
. That would be because of the reputation Esquire
has built over the years. If it were well-known that Esquire
regularly misquoted celebrities, why would any celebrity agree to be interviewed, and put his or her reputation (and career) in the hands of a magazine that was known for misquotes?
Next, you cite an article that is tangentially related to the first story only by topic (alleged racism by clothing designers), but which has absolutely nothing to do with Esquire, nor does it mention Esquire
in the article at all. It does mention that the original story supposedly appeared in a Philippine tabloid. Does that mean you are equating Esquire
with a tabloid, as far as its ethical and reporting standards?
The third article you cite deals with a comment allegedly made by Groucho Marx, and wrongly reported in several places. Did you happen to
notice that the authority cited for proving that the story was false
was an interview of Groucho Marx for Esquire
Snopes.com says, "The one person who would undoubtedly know the truth is Groucho himself, and he maintained in a 1972 interview with Roger Ebert for Esquire magazine
that he never said it
". . . I get credit all the time for things I never said. You know that line in You Bet Your Life? The guy says he has seventeen kids and I say: "I smoke a cigar, but I take it out of my mouth occasionally"? I never said that.
This debate really should end here
, based on a complete lack of evidence that Groucho ever said any such thing, coupled with his unequivocal statement affirming that he did not
. . . ."
So Ms. Mikkelson is apparently saying here that Groucho's statement, printed by Esquire
, is the correct statement that should be believed.
The difference here is that you're saying that Val Kilmer's statement, printed by Esquire
, is not correct, and should not be believed.
Yet despite the fact that the Esquire
interview was published four years ago, and the fact that it has been re-published in at least two books, Kilmer apparently has never denied making those remarks until now, when he's thinking about running for public office and those comments cause a huge outcry.
If he didn't make those statements, why have we been unable to find any previous denials? We even asked Kilmer's assistant to provide us with earlier denials, if there were any - yet we received none. Our own research didn't turn up any previous denials, and Esquire
's editor-in-chief is also not aware of Kilmer disputing the quote on any earlier occasion.
If we use your logic here: "If Esquire and other publications like it have been PROVEN to lie, . . .", and we fill in the blanks so it looks like this, "If Kilmer and others like him who are seeking or holding public office
have been PROVEN to lie, . . ." then the logical conclusion is that because other political figures and wannabes have been proven to lie when caught saying something stupid, then . . . .Esquire
hasn't produced any tapes because it doesn't need to. It has stated, directly from the top executive, and not through an assistant editor, or an administrative assistant, that the interview was taped, and that before it was published, a separate member of the magazine's staff (not the writer), listened to the tape to verify the quotes were accurate BEFORE they were published.
It's standard practice for a reporter to tape record an interview precisely for the reason of double-checking quotes before they're published. Do you know why they do that?
The reporter does it to protect himself and his publisher against a lawsuit by the person interviewed. And the person being interviewed agrees to it being recorded because he wants to be sure he's accurately quoted.
Truth is an absolute defense to a claim for defamation of character. Once it is proved that the statement was made and the quote is accurate, the lawsuit is out the window, and the one falsely claiming he didn't say those things is out a BIG pile of money, because he will most likely be counter-sued, and most likely will have to pay the lawyers for BOTH sides. And he's paid all that money for the privilege of proving to the world that he's a bigger jerk than they already think he is.
If Kilmer wants to maintain that he didn't make those statements, the only way he'll be believed is if he sues Esquire and wins
. The fact that he didn't deny the statements for four years, until he was contemplating a political career, makes it extremely unlikely that his denial will be believed. After all, we all know that politicians always tell the truth, right?
Go back to Snopes.com, and search "Esquire misquoted" - you'll get "0" results. That means Snopes apparently hasn't found a case where Esquire
misquoted someone. So let's go back to "If Snopes said it, it must be true."
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