….which is another way of saying that this post is an “UPDATE.”
But the original post is so far down on the blog that no one would notice or care if I updated it there.
Anyway, in that earlier post, I expressed the hope that this story (that gay demonstrations were being censored out of the Lincoln Memorial’s historical video) would turn out to be bogus so that I could “issue a retraction!”
I think I offered the impossible.
It wasn’t my story at all, so I don’t think a retraction could ever be in order. Nor would a “correction” be appropriate, for technically neither would be mine to issue.
In any event, Andrew Sullivan earlier cited this report of a tentative reversal of what may have been a tentative “decision”:

Footage of gay rights demonstrations will not be removed from a videotape shown at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C, according to spokespeople from the National Park Service and the Human Rights Campaign. Earlier reports in various news outlets said the gay images would be removed.
In a press release yesterday, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), a government-watchdog group, said that because of pressure from conservative groups, the National Park Service agreed to remove from the tape all scenes depicting gay and abortion rights rallies. “The Park Service leadership now caters exclusively to conservative Christian fundamentalist groups,” PEER executive director Jeff Ruch said in the release.
But today that story has changed. “We have been assured that they are redoing the tape, but are not stripping out scenes of gay and lesbian events at the Lincoln Memorial, because to do so would be historically inaccurate,” said Winne Stachelberg, political director at the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay rights group. Stachelberg told the Gay.com/PlanetOut.com Network that National Park Service Chief of Public Affairs, David Barna, made those reassurances to her this morning.

This is puzzling, because when stories change like that it makes me wonder whether there really was a decision, or whether instead the waters were being tested as they were during the June controversy over whether gays in the Justice Department should be allowed to celebrate Pride Day (or whatever it’s called now).
Totally aside from the merits of this issue, I have a question: Has “idea floating” (through various media reports, rumors, and leaks) become a new way of determining public policy?
If so, does that mean that the media are a de facto branch of government?
I am not sure I like that, because big media have a very poor track record when it comes to issuing retractions…..
UPDATE: In some cases (I don’t know about this one), the “floated” ideas might themselves be largely media creations, floated not by government officials but by news media working in conjunction with special interest activists to force the issue. Hey, I guess that’s a form of fuzzy democracy. (Works both ways, of course…)