How to do a disclosure statement

Chekhov’s The Seagull is back in New York. Terry Teachout reviews it for The Wall Street Journal here, and please note the last paragraph:

Footnote: Hildegard Bechtler, who designed the sets and costumes for the Royal Court Theatre’s production of The Seagull, is also working on the Santa Fe Opera’s 2009 premiere of Paul Moravec’s The Letter, an opera for which I wrote the libretto. For the record, I have never had any contact of any kind with Ms. Bechtler, didn’t recommend her to the Santa Fe Opera, and didn’t even know that she had designed The Seagull until I read the press release for the show a couple of weeks ago.

How this came to pass:

As soon as I found out that Bechtler had designed The Seagull, I e-mailed my editors at the paper to ask what they wanted me to do. After due consideration they decided that I could write about The Seagull, provided that I said nothing about Bechtler’s sets or costumes and disclosed my professional connection to her at the end of the review. Needless to say, I did just that.

I mention all this because I thought you’d like to know how such matters are handled at The Wall Street Journal, and that I take them as seriously as the Journal does.

And far more so than whoever’s running the Televised Political Farce of the Week.

1 comment

  1. Jeffro »

    4 October 2008 · 4:08 pm

    I’m sure Keith Olbermann and Katie Couric wouldn’t ever need that sort of honesty in disclosures, since they are inherently unbiased./snark

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