Though the column was published Monday night, Whicker's Jaycee Dugard column didn't strike the collective nerve of the Internet until today. I got in touch with the OC Register's sports editor, and here's what he and Whicker have to say.
John Fabris, deputy editor at the Register, says they've been getting a ton of feedback, and that "the comments at the bottom of Mark's column are pretty representative." Said comments were, shall we say, not supportive.
Fabris also passed along a follow-up note from Whicker that will be printed on the front page of tomorrow's sports section. Here it is:
For Tuesday's Register, I wrote a column that clearly offended and outraged large portions of our readership.
It was not my intention to do so. But it's obvious that I miscalculated the effect the column on Jaycee Dugard, and the events that she might have missed during her captivity, had on those who read, buy and advertise in our newspaper.
For 22 1/2 years at The Register, I feel like I've had a good and direct relationship with our audience and I think most of the regular readers know how I go about reporting and commenting on sports.
This column appears to have disconnected that bond with at least part of our readers. For that I apologize.
It's impossible to unring a bell or to bring back a column that has already been transmitted. In many ways the damage is done. I'm hopeful that I can be forgiven for this lapse of professionalism by those who were affected most profoundly.
I'll try to earn back the trust of those customers in my future endeavors.
Again, I regret this incident and apologize to all concerned.
The Register is also publishing a few of the angry emails received, and rather than an arbitrary selection, I imagine they were the only ones without profanity.
Whicker Responds With Regret Over Dugard Column [OC Register]