Saturday, December 29, 2007

Chicago Trib Got It Wrong

Folks, you get an idea of how biased and wrong much of MSM reporting on the Duke lacrosse case was from the post below published May 12, 2006, three days before David Evans’ fraudulent indictment.

It's also includes an excellent example of "headline bias," which occurs in newsrooms and is the responsibility of editors.

The link to the Chicago Tribune story has "rotted" but enough of the story is quoted for you to see what the Trib was doing.

The Trib's story is a glaring and shameful example of what the players and their supporters faced for months and, in many cases, still face.

The post title: Chicago Trib's Duke lacrosse DNA story bias.

Today headlines:

”DNA links 3rd player to alleged attack”
The Tribune news services' story begins:
Prosecutors believe they have DNA evidence to tie a third Duke lacrosse player to the alleged attack on a 27-year-old exotic dancer, news outlets in Durham reported Thursday.

The local ABC affiliate, citing sources, reported that the third player is the same person who was identified with "90 percent" certainty by the alleged victim in a photo lineup. That lineup was conducted by police weeks after the March 13 off-campus lacrosse team party where the alleged incident took place.

The potential evidence--a DNA sample found under a fake fingernail worn by the alleged victim and linked to the lacrosse player--was recovered from the off-campus home where the alleged attack took place. […]
The lead paragraphs certainly support the Tribs headline: “DNA links 3rd player to the alleged attack.”

But if you read down to the story's last two paragraphs, you learn:
The Durham Herald Sun newspaper reported Thursday that the tissue sample used for testing did not allow for a 100 percent match, but it was "consistent" with DNA of the third player. Because a complete DNA pattern was not obtained from the sample on the fingernail, it was impossible to match that sample with near certainty to the third player, the newspaper said.

Defense sources told the ABC station that results from this set of DNA tests are also inconclusive and that there is no match, and that to say otherwise is "very misleading." They also say it would not be unusual to find players' DNA in the bathroom or garbage can of a house where many spent time.
Given the information in the last two paragraphs, how can the Trib justify its headline, “DNA links 3rd player to the alleged attack,” or its lead paragraphs?

The Trib’s headline and its equally misleading lead paragraphs are further examples of MSM news bias directed against the Duke lacrosse players.


Anonymous said...

Will the Chicago Tribune be sued for libel, along with the N&O?

Anonymous said...

Hate to give the MSM any slack but this looks more like simple incompetence and sensationalizing to drive sales than anything else.My personal experience is that newspapers will print anything that will sell true or not. They regard it as smart marketing, not evidence of bias. I'm not sure which is worse.

Anonymous said...

During this special time of the year, I am trying to forgive and forget about all the wrongs that were done to the Duke Lacrosse players. However, when I read these old articles with so much bias in them I realize that my "forgiving and forgetting" is going to require a lot more work.