Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Did Cincinnati's FOX19 just suggest that my father may not have invented "the Heimlich"? (plus my FOX19 corrections request saga)

A couple days ago I sent a request to the National Science Foundation to investigate junk reporting by Radiolab, a syndicated NPR show that was awarded a $1.5 million NSF grant. From my letter:
(Articles) in the British Medical Journal, Boston Herald, Radar magazine and other publications have questioned whether my father deserves credit for inventing “the Heimlich maneuver.”
Via The Choke Artist by Jason Zengerle, The New Republic, April 23, 2007:
"I don't think my father invented anything," Peter (Heimlich) said, "but his own mythology."
Via Tri-State veterans take last Honor Flight of the year, posted by Cincinnati's FOX19 the same day I sent my letter to the NSF:

"Widely credited"?

If that's a note of doubt, it's an improvement on Another Side of Dr. Henry Heimlich, a treacly, pseudo-intimate portrait by FOX19 reporter Tricia Macke that aired May 5th.

Not including the hooey about my parents' "fairy tale" marriage, I caught three factual errors in her story. 

Here's a 5-second clip of the most obvious glitch:

Here's a screenshot of a front-page article in the March 16, 2003 Cincinnati Enquirer:

The day after Macke's report aired, I sent her a courteous corrections request and included the Enquirer article.

I didn't receive a reply to that or to my follow up, so I sent e-mails and left a voice message for the station's assistant news director.

She didn't respond, so I e-mailed Susana Schuler, Vice President of News at Raycom Media, FOX19's parent company.

Susana Schuler (source)
She punted it to FOX19 News Director Kevin Roach, who sent me this:
Subject: Re: corrections request
From: Kevin Roach
Date: 6/5/2013 7:27 AM
To: Peter Heimlich
CC: Susana Schuler, Steve Ackermann, Bill Lanesey, Tricia Macke

I've been out of the office. I will get back to you by end of the week.
Kevin Roach (source)
Contrary to Roach's assurance, he never got  back to me. Since then I've sent him a string of courteous follow-up e-mails, but nary a response.

As Yogi Berra might put it, maybe he's busy ignoring other problems.