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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

As long as we're talking about McIlheran: Residency

On Sunday, I posted a long series of links and commentary about the Milwaukee Public Schools, and I included a reference to--and quoted from--what I called "an unsigned op-ed" about the MPS residency requirement.

When I first read that op-ed--it was some time before I got around to linking it--I thought it had had Patrick McIlheran's name in the byline. So when I wanted to dredge it up, I first searched through his old columns, where I could not find it. Then I Googled his name and keywords like "residency" to find it, which was also fruitless. When I did find it and finally re-read it, I thought it was in his style, even. But since there was no name on the page I would link to, I didn't feel I could make the attribution.

But last night I got an email from a reader who thought he remembered McIlheran's name on the original--and thought so independent of my telling anyone about it. Still, without a physical paper in hand from that day or some other evidence, I left it alone.

While researching the story below, however, I read Bruce Murphy's June 27 Milwaukee Magazine column, where he notes (way at the bottom):
On Sunday, columnist Patrick McIlhern compounded the error in a column arguing that residency may need to be reconsidered.
The date and the content match; we have a winner.

The question is, why was that piece stripped of its byline? I'm willing to believe accident, but it'd be nice to have some answers.

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