Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Retraction of the "Red Hot Address"

A Bogus “Address”
[The Salt Lake Tribune]
[20 March 1884]

On Sunday last we printed what purported to be a stenographic report of a “red hot address” that had been delivered by a Bishop West at Juab. It came with all the usual attestations of repute and good faith, yet we find on fuller investigation, the authenticity of it having been questioned, that it was forgery, no such address was delivered, as far as this investigation is concerned, and no Bishop West in known at Juab. We regret to have been made the vehicle of this Imposture, but it was so like what is going on all the time, and the ordinary talk and feelings of the majority here, only in more concentrated form, that it might have deceived even a Saint. The explanation given by the contributor is that it is a collection in one connected whole of what he has heard at different times in Mormon sermons and otherwise, during a brief sojourn in Utah. It was a totally reprehensible proceeding to write these disjointed fragments up in this way, and attribute them to one man on any special occasion, and we believe he now fully realizes the indefensible character of his work. It deceived us, and we regret to be obliged to add, others through us. The most careful publishers are liable to be imposed upon, and this liability has materialized upon us in this matter. We embrace the first opportunity after being convinced of the spurious nature of the so called address, to repudiate it and warn the public that it is not genuine.

The above was written in consequence of our investigations, which came to a head yesterday morning, and we take not from it one word in consequence of the railings of the News last evening, which depends upon the word of Mr. Teasdale in denial of the matter. The Church organ with its usual viciousness misrepresents throughout, and as usual calls for vengeance upon persons connected with The Tribune, which is of no consequence. If it had waited till morning, it might have saved its reputation; as will be observed, our own investigations were of as quick result as the search dictated by malice and hate. The News claims that we devote much time and space to it, and that it replies not, true, for it needs correction, and when this is administered it cannot reply. But it takes even more space than we devote to it, in the “refutation” at long range of articles in the Eastern press, whereas all it dared discuss the situation at home, it would not be able to [ ] and fall back without damage, as it is able to do in its present safe tactics. The News is filled with the vilest and most outrageous slanders daily, its columns are a drag-net of falsehoods: yet it has the hardihood to allude to a single occasion wherein we have been imposed upon as a sample of our usual course. But even in this case there is a difference; we give prompt denial and contradiction, which no Mormon paper ever does. The News slanders on Elder [Ball?] are recent, and their refutation complete, yet so far from confessing them, it reaffirms the original malicious falsehoods. This is only one case of hundreds, and it never takes back a lie. The Tribune is the only paper in Utah which, being convinced of error and injustice, will freely and manfully face music and acknowledge the [corn?]. We are sorry the News used so much of its valuable space in “refuting” what we should have done so much better in a much shorter space; and since it has devoted so much room to the subject, we suggest that it let its readers know of our action in the premises, and also give them the benefit of some similar acts of justice on its own part.

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