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The New York Times Does the Semi-Right Thing

Knock me over with a feather! The New York Times does the semi-right thing:

Editors' Note - New York Times : A review on Jan. 15 about "Women Who Make the World Worse: And How Their Radical Feminist Assault Is Ruining Our Families, Military, Schools, and Sports," by Kate O'Beirne, repeated a misattribution, contained in the book, of the quotation "All heterosexual intercourse is rape." The quotation, from "Professing Feminism: Education and Indoctrination in Women's Studies," by Daphne Patai and Noretta Koertge, is part of those authors' characterization of the views of the late Andrea Dworkin, the feminist writer, and Catharine MacKinnon, the law professor and legal theorist; it is not from MacKinnon's own writings.

The review, however, endorsed the quotation as representative of MacKinnon's expressed opinions, calling it "MacKinnon's (decades-old) contention." In fact, while this and similar statements equating heterosexual intercourse and rape have often been atttributed to MacKinnon, she has long and vigorously denied having made such assertions or that they represent her beliefs.

MacKinnon's past efforts to correct the record on this matter include a letter, written with Dworkin, published in the Book Review on May 7, 1995. The issue has also been the subject of an article in The Chicago Tribune ("Fighting a Lie That Just Won't Die," by Cindy Richards, May 30, 1999) and of an entry on, a Web site that specializes in investigating Internet rumors ( MacKinnon traces the origin of her identification with such statements to attempts by ideological opponents to discredit her.

But where is the statement that "The New York Times regrets and apologizes for the error? And where is the statement that the reviewer, Ana Marie Cox, regrets and apologizes for the error (as I am sure she does)?

Kate O'Beirne, of course, neither apologizes for nor regrets the error.