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May 24th, 2006 Ian Demsky | News Stories
 

Fact Check

     
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Two weeks after The Oregonian's Sunday edition ran a front-page profile of math whiz Mark Provo, the paper corrected five factual errors.

But Provo says those fixes don't address what he calls other errors of fact and a complete misrepresentation of his research by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Tom Hallman Jr. "Unbelievable,'' Provo says of the corrections that ran May 21.

Provo says he received one email from Hallman's editor, Jack Hart, asking about a few biographical details, but that nobody contacted him about his broader and more serious complaints.

Among the alleged screw-ups that Provo says went unaddressed was a line that Provo subsisted on lettuce when strapped for cash and kept his clothes in a closet his motel room doesn't have (Provo says he kept those clothes in a suitcase. For more details, see www.markprovo.com).

Provo also says he was not allowed to rebut a professor who analyzed his work for the paper. Hart and Hallman did not return WW's calls and emails seeking comment.

Reporters inside the daily's newsroom say that collectively the mistakes raise concerns that "where there's smoke, there's fire" when it comes to Provo's harder-to-verify accusations that Hallman (now on the O's Ford quintuplets beat) fabricated scenes and put thoughts in Provo's head. Quick!


NOTE: The Oregonian replied to Willamette Week after our print deadline with this response, which was posted on Oregon Live:

www.oregonlive.com/weblogs/editors/index.ssf?/mtlogs/olive_editor/archives/2006_05.html#144034

 
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