If you looked at reporter Joe Neff’s front page story in today’s Raleigh News & Observer, you know it was headlined:
Lacrosse files show gaps in DA's caseIf you read the story at least once or maybe twice because you couldn’t believe “with all that was wrong somebody could be indicted,” I'll bet you agree the story had the wrong headline.
A review of prosecution documents in the rape investigation reveals that the district attorney's public statements promised more than the evidence released so far indicates
Today’s N&O should have headlined Neff's story :
EVIDENCE CONTRADICTS NIFONG, INDICATES DUKE STUDENTS FRAMEDNow being kind people, many of you may be saying something like: “ Well maybe the N&O editors just don’t know how to write headlines.”
Folks, I hate to fuss with you but the N&O editors know how to produce all kinds of headlines. They're MSM journalists. They can even produce hard-hitting headlines without having any evidence for them.
You don't believe me?
Then take a look at the headlines the N&O ran above the fold, five columns wide on the front page of its Mar. 25 edition:
DANCER GIVES DETAILS OF ORDEALNow those are some hard-hitting headlines, aren’t they?
A woman hired to dance for the Duke lacrosse team describes a night of racial slurs, growing fear and, finally, sexual violence.
All the N&O needed to run those headlines was a little cooperation between a false-story telling “frightened young mother” and some agenda driven, "may PC rule the world" reporters and editors eager to claim an obvious hoax was true.
I hope you send the N&O’s executive editor for news, Melanie Sill, an email telling her that Neff’s story is a good start, but that the N&O has some huge explaining to do and much that it needs to correct.
Sill's email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t let the N&O “abandon the sinking Nifong and jump into the lifeboat” without giving an accounting of its role in taking what should have been a fair, thorough police investigation and turning it into a witch hunt that led to monumental injustices and damaged the community.
Don’t let the N&O “jump into the lifeboat” without telling us “the back story” and what its done to make sure it won't again victimize innocent people and endanger the community with the kind of “news coverage” it inflicted on all of us starting on March 24 and continuing for many weeks thereafter.
For over a century the N&O has played race against race, class against class, and basically decent people against other basically decent people. In the process it grew rich and powerful, but it's done great harm to the state with its "old Red Rooster" tactics.
It’s time the N&O stopped.