Wednesday, July 11, 2007

INNOCENT: The AP needs to correct Finnerty story

"... these three individuals [David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007

The AP is running a story on Collin Finnerty's transfer to Loyola of Maryland. But the story has a problem in it, as you'll see when you read the email below.

If your area news outlet runs the story with the problem, I hope you contact the outlet and ask for a correction. Any news organization using the AP can add to or modify an AP story provided the byline indicates something like "from AP and other sources."


This email went to the general manager of the Triangle's Eyewitness 11 News.

Dear General Manager:

Collin Finnerty is one of the three Duke students the disgraced former DA Mike Nifong, certain Durham Police officers and others framed for gang-rape with enablement by many in the media and at Duke.

You're now running an AP story on his transfer to Loyola of Maryland.

The AP report includes: "Eventually, state prosecutors whotook (sic) over the case from the local district attorney dropped all charges."

As you know, Attorney General Cooper didn't just drop the charges. He made a point to telling the public: "... these three individuals [,David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."

To your credit, Eyewitness 11 News published Cooper's statement in full:

I'm making two requests:

1) That you insert a statement concerning Finnerty's innocence into the AP story as you're permitted to do or find another news source which is reporting both Finnerty's transfer and his innocence;

2) That you provide an AP contact email where I can register a complaint.

I blog as John in Carolina. I'll be posting this email.

I'll also post in full your response.

Thank you for your attention to this email.


John in Carolina


humboldtblue said...


This just in from the Left Coast, but coach Pressler has been leading a clinic in Contra Costa county (Danville) and got a pretty nice write up from James Leonard in the Contra Costa Times, including some nice second half insight from Pressler's former college coach at Washington and Lee.

You'll find it at

Anonymous said...

Go John!

Anonymous said...

JiC, You read my mind.
I read the Finnerty story and also got mad about the incomplete reporting. That it just said the charges were dropped. I went to inside lacrosee website to see if they had a story and they ran a more complete version of the AP's story.
(sorry not good with links, etc.). The story that ran on inside lacrosse included this paragraph: "But the case steadily unraveled over the next year, and the state prosecutors who eventually took over the case from the local district attorney dropped all charges. In doing so, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper declared the trio innocent victims of a "tragic rush to accuse." "
Not sure if it has to do with an update or not. The inside lax story states at the top "Updated: July 11, 2007, 11:30 AM ET"
I can't tell what time the AP story from the local abc news website came in.

It could be that the ABC "AP story" was edited down, however, this is a website and the great thing about the web is that there shouldn't be as many space constraints as in print (besides this is broadcast news website not a newspaper or magazine).

Anonymous said...

Newsday, the Long Island paper's website, is running the more complete version as well with an 11:22 AM timestamp.
I wonder what they will print in the paper tomorrow.
I agree with John in Carolina that every instance of a duke story should state not only that the charges were dropped but that they were declared innocent and charges should never have been brought in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for trying to keep the press honest.

Anonymous said...

Good point. It never dawned on me when I heard the news report on news radio 710 or 770 in NYC this afternoon. They also said " charges were "dropped"". I definitely did not hear the word innocent. I am 1/5 of the way into Coach Pressler's/Mr Yeager's book, Its not about the truth. It is a MUST read.