An apology that doesn’t hold water

A story in the New York Times Magazine has greatly damaged the anti-mining movement. Comments made by Becky Rom and Reid Carron created a firestorm of opposition from both political parties and filled the in-boxes of journalists across the state. Statements were sent left and right, leaving Rom and Carron looking the fools.
What was said was written by a New York Times reporter who apparently didn’t feel he needed to protect the two leaders of the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters. We are left with the firm impression that not only is this how these two talk but how they feel.
Rom said of Ely city council member Dan Forsman, who was the focus of the story, “Danny Forsman drives to the mine in his truck, comes home and watches TV, and he doesn’t know this world exists.”
Rom’s husband Carron went even further, saying, “Resentment is the primary driver of the pro-mining crowd here — they are resentful that other people have come here and been successful while they were sitting around waiting for a big mining company...They want somebody to just give them a job so they can all drink beer with their buddies and go four-wheeling and snowmobiling with their buddies, not have to think about anything except punching a clock.”
Elitist at best, resentful to be sure and in the words of many who responded, Becky and Reid’s comments are disgusting.
Their response wasn’t any better.
Written by these attorneys, the words used make it appear that what was written was a lie. Reid’s statement, according to the apology, was “disrespectful and untrue.” One could wonder if what Reid said was untrue or that which was written was untrue.
Rom has previously backtracked when she’s been caught saying things she shouldn’t. A story earlier this year in The Progressive included Rom being quoted as saying the anti-mining side would win “one funeral at a time.” Questioned about it in a public forum, Rom denied making the statement.
In the apology over the New York Times statements, twice Rom used the word “untrue,” a not-so-subtle attempt at making the reader believe what was quoted wasn’t actually said. Nice try.
We’d also point out the apology is the first time we’ve ever witnessed Becky and Reid use the term “copper mining” instead of their usual “sulfide mining.” Apparently when you’ve stepped in poop you need to try to clean up your act while wiping off your soul.
We have some suggestions for Becky and Reid.
First, try to be respectful of those who disagree with you. Not in an apology, but every day. Becky grew up in Ely and there’s still plenty of people here who remember her before she was pontificating on high upon her return to the area. Elyites have agreed to disagree. Becky has shown she has a closed mind and has forgotten her Ely roots.
Second, if you’re going to apologize for sounding like a horse’s rear, then do so in a way that doesn’t use word-trickery or sound half-hearted. To be honest, some people were just as offended at the apology as they were to the original statements.
Third, sending an apology to media outlets here doesn’t hold water. The proper thing to do would be to take out a full page ad in the New York Times. We checked the rates, it’s right around $63,000.