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Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012 07:37 am

THE POWER OF THE PRESS

OK, we admit it.

We lied.

Land of Lincoln Goodwill Industries has not bought out Walgreens, or Family Video for that matter. Goodwill president and CEO Sharon Durbin does not have a penthouse office at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, which was not donated to the charity for a tax deduction. Donald Trump didn’t pay for any renovations, the building has not been renamed Goodwill at the Trump, and Goodwill is not manufacturing designer jeans in the basement. No merger with Wal-Mart is in the offing.

It was a literary device, aimed at illustrating how far Goodwill has come since Durbin took over six years ago, when the charity was running a deficit amid scandal uncovered by federal prosecutors who opined that the prior executive director had engaged in Medicaid fraud.

We thought we had made clear in last week’s cover story that we were making stuff up by slapping a dateline of Aug. 9, 2020 – that’s eight years from now — on the top of a fake press release that contained a whole bunch of stuff that wasn’t true. But, no. At least five folks got in touch.

“Has Goodwill in fact achieved all the things you have noted in your article or are these goals?” asked one reader via email.

Then there was the public-relations specialist in Seattle who sent an email tagged with a red exclamation mark to denote its urgency.

“Do you have the original press release you reference in your recent article, “Goodwill Power?” the PR pro wrote. “I cannot find it in the Land of Lincoln Goodwill newsroom.”
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