Editor, Auburn Magazine,
Even given the abysmal descent into of style over substance, touchie-feelie "Oprah" writing and embarrassing errors that have come to dominate the pages of Auburn Magazine during the tenure of editor Betsy Robertson, this quarter's issue has to be an all-time low. I suppose one could make a legitimate argument for giving a prominent alumnae such as Selena Roberts coverage in the magazine, but turning that coverage into a fawning puff piece is inexcusable [the article is not yet available online; when it is, I'll link to it --WC].
Selena Roberts is not a credit to Auburn University; she is a disgrace upon its good name. I still can't believe that Auburn Magazine--of all publications!--not only brushed over and excused Roberts' serial abuses as a New York Times "reporter," but couldn't find so much as one paragraph to note Roberts' slanderous and unfounded attack on the Auburn athletic department and the Reverend Chette Williams in early 2005. Back then, Roberts ran a breathless column insinuating Williams was guilty of NCAA violations on behalf of AU.
Subsequent investigations by Auburn and the NCAA found nothing of the sort, but Roberts, true to form, never retracted or apologized, and her unsubstantiated hit piece is quoted to this day by representatives of rival schools. And that doesn't even touch on the article's airy dismissal of Roberts' infamous rush to judgement (and subsequent "what, me, responsible?" reaction) to the Duke Lacrosse hoax.
No doubt Roberts' editors at the arch-liberal Times were more than pleased to read an assault on those redneck rubes and their backwards Christian ways written by one of their own, but under no circumstances should Roberts have received six pages of celebrity worship coverage in the University's own alumni publication.
Auburn Magazine is badly adrift, and in dire need of new leadership.
--Will Collier, AE '92
(Cross-posted to WillCollier.com.)