While they are to be commended for helping to develop a quality re-engineering of S-Plus, the evidence is accumulating that Gentleman and Ihaka are behaving in a way towards the mainstream media that is leaving a dark stain on their reputation.
They have not made a high profile attempt to correct some of Vance's misleading statements on where the R programming language actually came from. AT&T researchers developed the R programming language. Gentleman and Ihaka, with many followers and contributors helping them, developed a software that implements that programming language.
Their failure to publicly address the allegations of lies and distortions in Vance's article strongly suggest that they lied to Vance, in a sad and pathetic attempt to claim full credit for designing the user interface of the R software product.
Is R a quality statistical software product. Yes. But Gentleman and Ihaka's integrity is negated by their behaviour towards the mainstream press.
( That does not excuse Vance or his NYT colleagues from not doing their homework of course.)