I got a rather lengthy e-mail today from Globe columnist Jackie MacMullan in response to my challenging her over her Jan. 7 column in which she erroneously described Asante Samuel's tattoo as saying, "Get Paid." As this was a private e-mail exchange I won't repeat it all, but essentially: She was very defensive and indicated that she felt she was misled by Samuel. This would suggest that she never saw the tattoo and that she interviewed him over the telephone. She also took pains to point out that Samuel never complained that he was misquoted or misrepresented by her article. I will share this interesting tidbit from her e-mail: "He knew exactly what he was doing when he said all those things, and he got the desired result he wanted, except for one little thing -- he didn't count on his teammates being ticked at him for proving to be a distraction on the day of a playoff game, which is exactly what happened. Perhaps that's why he's changed his tune about the meaning of his tattoo." Very, very interesting indeed, especially since she precipitated the alleged distraction by leading with Samuel's contract agitating in the Globe's football news and notes column, appearing the morning of playoff game No. 1 against the Jets. Following is my response to her response: Jackie, I appreciate your response and I'm sorry if you felt insulted by what I wrote. But as a fellow journalist I've become increasingly sensitive to the public's growing negativity toward the media, and cases like the one cited certainly don't help matters. Frankly, I'm surprised by your defensiveness. You reported that Samuel's tattoo says "Get Paid," and it does not. Believing your report, this further colored my opinion of the man as I know it did for many other Patriots fans. Since then others, including Mike Reiss, have carried that misinformation forward in subsequent reports. Apparently you interviewed Samuel over the phone and didn't see the tattoo, but if he indeed told you it said "Get Paid" and not "Get Rich To This" (which, as he later has indicated, is open to intepretation) that certainly is curious. This isn't as much about Samuel's manipulation of contract negotiations or intentions regarding his employment with New England as it is about inaccurate reporting unfairly coloring public perception of an individual. I don't believe it's required for the individual in question to complain about being misquoted or misrepresented for this to be an issue of concern to all involved, including your readers and yourself.