As someone said in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” So there isn’t much time to get this right. The legend of Katie Hamilton is closing fast.

Hamilton is the Tribune intern who starred in the take-that-Sam-Zell video that recently won a Sun-Times contest. After the Sun-Times ran a big story singing her praises, the Tribune gleefully revealed what was up. I posted an item on this blog trying to give credit to the actual schemers behind the caper, John Kass did the same thing and went into more detail in his Tribune column, and there were other efforts here and there to tell the tale and get the facts right. But on Sunday America’s paper of record, the New York Times, ran a short piece in its baseball preview section (but not posted online, apparently) that said:

“With Sam Zell flirting with a new name for Wrigley Field, the Chicago Sun-Times ran a contest encouraging fans to produce music videos in protest. The winner was Katie Hamilton, a student at the University of Illinois and a Chicago Tribune intern, who rewrote the lyrics to the 1984 Twisted Sister anthem, ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It.'” 

I guess this is what we all want to believe, and in the long run it may be what we all will. Says Hamilton, “That’s definitely how it’s come across — that I concocted it and I ran with it. I wish I had.” By her own admission, Hamilton didn’t write a word — “and I feel kind of bad because it’s my face on the thing and it’s Kevin who put together the gang.” That’s feature writer Kevin Pang, who by Hamilton’s account got together with reporter James Janega and some other Tribune musical talent “and jammed and came up with the lyrics.”

Hamilton was chosen to front the stunt because nobody at the Sun-Times would know who she was, and when you watch the video you’ll see her happily strutting her stuff in front of the camera. “It was awesome,” she says. No legend’s necessary.