Reporter apologizes to Taylor Swift for sea wall uproar


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Uh oh. Looks like one reporter discovered how crazy one little Taylor Swift story can get, and now he feels bad for it. 

The Day reporter, David Collins, was the origial reporter who wrote a story about how Taylor Swift was building a large sea wall at her home in Rhode Island and how she was using rocks from the ocean and sort of rebuilding the coast line around her property. He also went on a quest to see if she had the proper permits for such a project. Turned out she didn't really have the permits that you would think she would need, but that it wasn't illegal and nobody in the government departments that regulate such things were too worried about it. 

End of story. 

Or not. 

Turns out his little story turned into a big, giant story and now he feels pretty bad about it because he doesn't think it was nearly as newsworthy as everyone else thought it was.

David decided to write a follow-up to his original story with this one being a public apology to the singer. He starts out by saying: To Taylor Swift: Sorry. 

He goes on to shame the media for the story becoming so blown out of proportion and for all the horrible titles that accompanied these stories. 

I'm sorry, Taylor Swift, for the scorched-earth worldwide news coverage on gossip pages that I apparently triggered with a column over the weekend, about the work on the sea wall at your Watch Hill house.

I gather you must be used to it.

Indeed, we first heard from your publicist hours after the column was posted online Sunday morning. She must have known what was coming.

My first inkling about how sensational it might get was a headline someone sent me from Gawker Tuesday morning: "Taylor Swift is (expletive) up the Rhode Island Coastline."

Wow. I have known of newspaper copy editors who in their wildest dreams never imagined being able to write that in a headline.

And, really, it is indeed a lot of heavy work, moving big rock. I even called it rearranging the coastline. But I think the coastline will survive.

He goes on to say:

I feel badly about this because I suspect you know very little about the work being done. I'm sure you've got other things to focus on.

If there is something wrong here, it is that the town of Westerly has not required a permit for an estimated $2 million of work, including building big new walls.

The state agency that has co-jurisdiction with municipalities for waterfront property, the one charged with protecting the environment of the coastline, has signed off on the elaborate earth work. But town officials, the same ones who hold most homeowners accountable for every small building project, have inexplicably given you a pass on this one.

As a blogger, I'm well aware that an interesting blog post title will bring in far more readers than a boring one any day, but I can definitely see how some people take them way too far. I've tried to tone mine down over the years, but even I said Taylor was pissing off her Rhode Island neighbors (or at least one surfer dude), so color me guilty too.  

It takes a lot of guts to say sorry for something you've written, even if the subject of that story will more than likely never even read it, so kudos to David Collins. I'm sure Taylor appreciates the apology even if she doesn't even know it exists. 

You can read his entire sorry letter over on The Day

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