It’s been pretty obvious that the Berkshire Eagle has taken a stance on the Berkshire Museum’s decision to sell art to fund its future operations. Good newspapers do that. They find a cause and pursue it.
The lawyers for the museum are beginning to feel there might be something else to the Eagle’s attention. The museum’s press people circulated this letter on December 1st:
In response to attempts by the newspaper to gain access to certain documents ordered under seal by an Appeals Court judge, the museum’s lawyers ask for information “relevant to the [newspaper’s] motivations” in taking legal action against the museum to seek those documents.
Specifically, the letter sent today asks the newspaper to disclose information related to an offer relayed to the museum by a BerkshireEagle reporter on behalf of an “anonymous group” with certain conditions. http://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/donors-offer-1m-to-delay-study-art-sale-berkshire-museum-board-president-says-no-to-the-proposal,517755/p/stories/berkshire-museum,514928
Among the information sought by the letter is:
- The members of the “anonymous group,” and the “spokesperson for the group of donors” as reported by the newspaper, and any relationships they may have with the newspaper or its owners;
- All individuals involved in making the determination to communicate the offer and what information they considered in making that determination;
- The identities of all individuals involved in determining to keep secret the identities of those in the “anonymous group”;
- The involvement of the “anonymous group” in reversing the newspapers support for the Museum’s plans; and,
- Communications by Fredric D. Ruthberg, President of New England Newspapers which owns the Berkshire Eagle, regarding the $1 million offer.