Rosemond takes a whuppin’ 

click to enlarge NAUGHTY: Spanking's in order for child psychologist.
  • NAUGHTY: Spanking's in order for child psychologist.

If you’re like me, you avoid the Wednesday “Family” section in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. It’s a little too sticky for my taste; too saccharine sweet. That, and the times I’ve flipped through never failed to remind me of the first few months after my son was born, when every nimrod who ever changed a diaper — relatives, distant relatives, people in the park, people in line at the grocery store — came out of the woodwork, full of good advice that wasn’t.

If you skipped the section published May 24, however, you missed a gem: a mea culpa by holier-than-thou, “whup ’em first and ask questions later” parenting columnist John Rosemond. (In case you didn’t know, Rosemond is a child psychologist and the author of Bible-centered parenting guides like “Parenting by the Book,” and “The New Parent Power,” which advocate, among other things, the use of spanking to discipline children.) Syndicated in more than 100 newspapers, Rosemond recently admitted to a number of journalistic no-nos, including recycling content, using “composite” questions, and changing the characteristics of those who wrote in for his advice.

The discovery of Rosemond’s troubles came after a copy editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution recognized the word “dysgraphia” in one of the writer’s columns. Looking back through the archives, the editor discovered an identical column that had been submitted by Rosemond in 1999. Rosemond’s home paper, the Charlotte Observer, was notified, and an investigation by editors revealed that he had used previously published content at least four times in 2006, 12 times in 2005, six times in 2004 and three times in 2003. Rosemond has been writing his weekly parenting column for 28 years.

In addition to recycling content, Rosemond also admitted to Observer editors that he sometimes fictionalized the situations and other personal information of those who submitted letters to him in the name of protecting their privacy, and that he sometimes made up “composite” questions to answer, based on several questions he had received on the same topic.

In a short apology published along with his column in the May 24 issue of the Dem-Gaz and other papers, Rosemond addressed only the issue of resubmitting previously published work, and only admitted to doing so “in late 2005 and early 2006.”

Rosemond said that he had misunderstood about the need to notify his editor when resubmitting an old column, and said his recycling of old content was the result of being preoccupied with the long hospitalization and deaths of his mother-in-law, his father and his stepmother.

Calling the period “an unusual and trying eight months,” he wrote, “During this time, I was sometimes unable to meet my column deadline satisfactorily. So, I fell back on what I thought was an acceptable option: rerunning old columns. This is not the first time I have done so, but what had been occasional became often.”

Since the revelations about Rosemond came to light, at least one paper, The Ledger in Lakeland, Fla., has dropped his column. He’s sticking at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, though. Frank Fellone, deputy editor of the Dem-Gaz, said that Rosemond’s apology is enough.

“We are dismayed,” Fellone said. “But we are appreciative of the fact that Rosemond flogged himself in this week’s column. A public flogging exonerates many sins.”

This is gonna hurt you

more than it hurts me…





Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by David Koon

Most Shared

Latest in Media

  • UA cozy with D-G columnist

    An interesting element of the ongoing story of budget problems in the University of Arkansas Advancement Division has been a divide in outlook in the pages of the state's dominant news medium, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
    • Nov 21, 2013
  • Democrat-Gazette covers one of its own in story of reporter Cathy Frye's rescue

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's reports on the rescue of its reporter Cathy Frye, who was missing for days in the hot scrubby desert that is Big Bend Ranch State Park, are gripping.
    • Oct 10, 2013
  • Hodge shares his OA vision

    Roger Hodge, the new editor of Oxford American magazine, talked about his rise at Harper's, his writing philosophy and his plans for the OA before a full crowd last Wednesday at the Clinton School.
    • Sep 26, 2012
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Jodi Morris's lifelong ties to the National Park Service

Jodi Morris's lifelong ties to the National Park Service

"History is always happening" at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site

Event Calendar

« »


2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • The politics of opportunity

    Are you sick of the election yet? One thing that seems certain is that our politics remain as hyperpartisan and dysfunctional as ever. I may be naive, but I think Arkansas has an opportunity to help lead the country back toward pragmatic progress on the issues that will make our families and communities stronger.
  • Issue 3: blank check

    Who could object to a constitutional amendment "concerning job creation, job expansion and economic development," which is the condensed title for Issue 3 for Arkansas voters on Nov. 8?
  • The end is near

    Practically speaking, it doesn't really matter if Donald Trump accepts the results of the November election.
  • Football and foster kids

    It took a football stadium to lay bare Republican budget hypocrisy in Arkansas.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The politics of opportunity

    • Great article. I also believe we can do better, and long for the day when…

    • on October 27, 2016
  • Re: The big loser

    • Investigator, you are none of those things, but simply a serial ranter. At this you…

    • on October 26, 2016
  • Re: The big loser

    • If they really wanted to knockout the Clinton's, they would have done so with guilty…

    • on October 26, 2016

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation