Dash faults me for not approaching Cohen in e-mail, where he could have explained himself before the story got more traction with weblogs and the media.
Perhaps he has a point, but I regarded an essay Cohen linked on his front page for two years as fair game for evaluation, independent of anything else he might say on the subject, and I don't know the guy. The idea his manifesto might be a parody never entered my mind, nor did it occur to anyone else I read yesterday.
The headline was based on my read of Cohen's statement "I build systems to ... commit digital piracy." It was a jaw-dropping thing to discover through a comment on Ed Felten's weblog.
I would never try to mislead people on Workbench to spike traffic or bait the media. I gave Cohen's statement the huge play I thought it deserved, and when I was told he called it a parody, I added an update to the post. Between that update and visitor comments, I think readers could fairly judge the justification for giving it a headline as big as "Boy Trapped in Refrigerator Eats Own Foot."
As for my last media hack, the idea I would use my 36 hours of fame to criticize the papacy was never entertained. Though I have concerns with the church that would explain the 26 years that have passed since my last confession, I'm not particularly eager to become the Catholic Salman Rushdie.