An Apology From Ted Williams

For 33 years it has been my honor and privilege to write for Audubon magazine – often taking controversial stances on behalf of wildlife.

 

Like you, I am passionate about protecting birds. In my recent op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel, I let my passion get the best of me, calling into question the scientific credibility of Audubon and squandering some of my own.

 

I regret that in the Orlando Sentinel op-ed, I:

  • Used the brand name of a common over-the-counter painkiller and described it as a humane way to euthanize feral cats. Using the name of the painkiller was irresponsible, and characterizing it as humane was inaccurate, according to veterinarians and scientists.

  • Left room for the interpretation that my reference to that painkiller was a recommendation that the public take action into its own hands. That wasn't my intent, as I said in a correction I asked the Orlando Sentinel to post.

  • Neglected to state that “editor-at-large of Audubon magazine” was a freelance, not salaried, title and that my opinions about lethal control of feral cats were my own. By that oversight – and twice citing my affiliation with Audubon in the text – I implied I was speaking for Audubon. I was not.

  • Defined trap-neuter-return (TNR) as “illegal.” There is currently scant case law proscribing TNR.

I wrote the op-ed in haste, without the care and precision my editors and readers expect. The result was that I called Audubon’s reputation into question. I got benched and earned the suspension; it was bad journalism and bad judgment.

 

I apologize and will work to rebuild your trust.

 

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