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Koch Noncommital on Globe Editor's Note

Bill Koch, the multimillioinaire businessman who demanded a retraction and apology for an Aug. 9 Alex Beam column in The Boston Globe, said in an interview late today that he considers today's Editor's note in Beam's column "half a loaf."

Howard Cooper, Koch's attorney, had written a Sept 9. letter to Beam about the column -- which revisited some of Koch's legal entanglements -- asking for an apology and retraction and describing the column as nothing short of "libel."

Today's Editor's note acknowledges some of the concerns highlighted in Cooper's letter. But Koch and his lawyer said they were not prepared to say the dispute was resolved. They indicated they would wait before determining how to proceed.

"There are broader implications here for what's going on," said Cooper. "Obviously, the press has the ability to impact greatly on the reputation of anyone about who it reports. It's almost impossible for the subject matter of the story to know whether his reputation's been repaired. Only time will tell."

Koch added that "I've been branded and it's awfully hard to remove a brand even though the brand's been unjustified. The decision to bring a lawsuit is a very, very difficult one...but you weigh that against what you expect to get on the one hand, and on the other hand, how much you can correct."
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