The New York Post’s John Podhoretz’s 638-word, page 3 apology to Kristin Davis for falsely labeling her a hooker was not gracious, but Davis still accepted it.
The Oct. 22 apology to Davis, a former madam and current candidate for New York State governor, used the word “hooker” 25 times. If you include the caption and the headline, the paper repeats the libelous claim of “hooker” a total of 27 times.
By iMediaEthics’ count, only four of his 23 sentences did not use the word “hooker.”
At 638 words in length, it may be the longest correction in the New York Post’s history. We are writing the Post to ask.
Podhoretz explained that the apology and correction came as a result of getting an e-mailed press release that said Davis intended to sue him for his statement.
“She is not, the press release explains, a hooker. Nor has she ever been a hooker — or at least, according to the press release, ‘There is no evidence whatsoever’ that Davis was a hooker,” Podhoretz wrote…and repeated over and over again in the 638-word correction.
Davis’ campaign website announced that she accepted Podhoretz’s apology.
“Although I never worked as a call girl, I was held accountable for the crime of promoting prostitution,” Davis said in the statement. “I approached the escort business strictly as a business.”
Davis also added that she did serve time and pay a fine for her work as a madam, most notably as the madam providing disgraced former New York governor Eliot Spitzer with call girls. (Now a journalist on CNN, Spitzer resigned over the scandal, in case anyone has forgotten).
The Post’s Jennifer Fermino reported Davis’ acceptance of the apology Oct. 23, indicating a not-so-subtle turn around in the Post’s attitude towards Davis–this time, not on page 3 but on page 8. “She might not be a hooker, but Kristin Davis sure has a heart of gold,” Fermino wrote.
The Hollywood Reporter announced Davis’s intent to sue the Post for defamation on Oct. 20. The Post’s page 3 correction and apology followed two days later.
Davis’ attorney Ron Castorina said, “Kristin Davis spent four months on Riker’s Island after pleading to one count of promoting prostitution…She has paid her debt to society. In America we believe in redemption and rehabilitation. Ms. Davis has a clean slate and is entitled to a second chance.”
The Reporter continued: ” ‘Mr. Podhoretz cannot make irresponsible statements like calling my client a hooker and do so with impunity,’ Castorina said. ‘My client was a businesswoman and never a call girl.’ ”