October 5th, 2007 5:33 pm | by Ian Gillingham News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP

CLARIFICATION: Four-Letter Fracas

eatme_forkEarlier today, Portland Farmers Market vice president and Park Kitchen chef-owner Scott Dolich emailed a Letter to the Editor to WW saying he'd been misquoted in Mike Thelin's most recent "Eat Me" column, which focused on the proposed Portland Public Market. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to read Dolich's full letter to WW.
Now, we'd been planning to run a clarification regarding Dolich's quote in next Wednesday's print newspaper. But since a copy of Dolich's missive is now posted on local foodie website portlandfoodanddrink.com, we figured we'd just let you know what the quote in question was. It's the bolded sentence from Thelin's column pasted below:
While the public market has floundered, its inspiration, the Portland Farmers Market, has grown into a financially stable entity operating four markets, three days a week, nine months of the year—and without a penny of the dole. “The city hasn't given us dick,” says Farmers Market Vice President and Park Kitchen chef-owner Scott Dolich. “And we haven't asked for dick.”

Arts & Culture Editor Kelly Clarke spoke with the chef via phone earlier this afternoon. During that conversation, Dolich clarified his quote. In short, he says he clearly said “shit.” Not “dick.”

According to Dolich, Thelin transposed the order of the chef's phrases in the quote. Dolich says it should have read:

“We haven't asked for shit. And the city hasn't given us shit.”

“'Shit.' I say that [that word] all the time, and I did use that term in the interview,” Dolich told Clarke. “But not dick.”

As for the "Eat Me" columnist, Thelin says he didn't tape record his phone interview with Dolich (the chef called him back while he was at a coffee shop, and Thelin says he didn't have a recorder available). Thelin insists he heard the original four-letter word as "dick."

"I agree with Scott Dolich that our interview was informative," Thelin says, "but I was a bit caught off guard when he phoned me this past Wednesday to accuse me of altering his four-letter words to add 'flair' to my story, as he put it. I'm not exactly sure what I, or my story, would have to gain in changing one four-letter word to another four-letter word in a story where neither Scott nor the farmers market was the primary subject. Scott's input was instrumental in helping me to understand both markets, and I'm thankful for that. But his accusation that I altered his quote on purpose is ludicrous."

Again, “shit,” not “dick.”

WW sincerely hopes this clears up any confusion.


To the editors of Willamette Weekly,

I had the misfortune of being misquoted in M. Thelin's “Eat me” column on Oct 3rd. There are a number of items, aside from his misquotation, that concern me. Primarily, Mr.Thelin and I had, what I consider, an informative discussion last week about the proposed Public Market. In this conversation, which took nearly 20 minutes, I made sure to give Mr.Thelin an accurate background on the Portland Farmers Market's involvement in this issue. We discussed: 1) the importance of public input on this matter, 2) Which constituencies are currently being served and which are not in Portland's local agricultural economy, 3) What are the possibilities for constructive city support, and 4) Why the city hasn't yet become a major player in this debate, 5) What Commissioner Saltzman is currently doing to remedy that situation. Portland Farmers Market considers these to be important issues not only for its own well being but also for maintaining a thriving local food economy. Yet very little of the factual material we discussed was incorporated into his article. My concern is why would Mr. Thelin choose to focus on misquoting the most sophomoric and banal aspect of our conversation, as opposed to truly enlightening your readers on this important topic?

Mr. Thelin also stated that he felt his article was favorable to PFM so by association, I should somehow be satisfied with how he treated my statements. I find this is disturbing in that I don't care if his coverage is positive or negative with respect to PFM. I am more interested in reading an article that is informative, accurate and non-biased.

Lastly, Mr. Thelin treated my questioning him about misquoting my statement as an affront. In essence, he said since he wrote it down, that's exactly what was said. This is not a healthy attitude for a reporter to have.

Needless to say, I feel that my information was mistreated by Mr. Thelin in his misquotation of my remarks. Your stated mission at Willamette Week is to “provide your audience with an independent and irreverent understanding of how their worlds work” This should not be done at the expense of accuracy.

Scott Dolich Chef-owner, Park Kitchen
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