Published here is the complaint to The Times to which Simon Winchester responded on page 7 of the December Sandisfield Times.

The Town Clerk’s complaint was received within two days of the publication of the November Sandisfield Times.  She took offense that she had been quoted as saying the polling clerks at the Nov. 3 Presidential election might be so bored, with the high number of mail-in ballots that in-person voting could be so slight as to allow them “to play Scrabble all day.”

As she wrote, she said no such thing, nor was she interviewed for the article.

This is an example of something invented in jest causing distress where none was intended   It was seized by some as being another example of “fake news.” 

Within minutes the author of the report, Bill Price, owned up to his foolishness and apologized.  Simon, the Times’ founding editor, wrote an apologia and response that was published the following month.

The editorial decision was to omit the letter from the December print edition of The Times since what ensued was fully explained in Simon’s response, but that we should publish it online for curious residents to see in full.

As Simon reported to readers, The Times “will invent no more quotes, even in jest, and attempt, to the best of our abilities as we always have, to get things right.”