Sunday, February 24, 2008

N&O correction requests re: lawsuit story

Folks, even if this is your first visit to JinC, you’ll quickly pick up on the following email.


Ted Vaden, public editor
Raleigh News & Observer

Dear Ted:

Two serious misquotes have been noted in the N&O’s Feb. 22 story: "38-player lacrosse suit gets fanfare." Both involve statements made by Mr. Robert Bork, Jr acting in a public information capacity for the plaintiffs and their attorneys.

One of the N&O’s misquotes was noted and documented by Bork and posted here at

I included in this post the N&O’s misquote and Bork’s documentation alerting readers to what he actually said. I mentioned I’d be in contact with you regarding an N&O correction and explanation.

Subsequent to publication of my post, another serious error in the N&O story was identified as follows:

The N&O reported:

The players chose not to appear at the news conference, said Bob Bork Jr., the group's hired publicist, because they don't want to attract attention.
But Bork said no such thing.

In this post at Bork provided the text of what he'd actually said as follows:
None of the 38 players who are filing this lawsuit are here today. They considered participating, but many have jobs and some are still students and lacrosse team members at Duke. One is in Army Ranger school preparing to deploy to Iraq.

Know this -- the players are united behind this lawsuit. At the same time that they are understandably concerned about retribution and negative, maybe even slanderous media coverage. Who can blame them after what they endured for 13 months in 2006 and 2007. They are walking a fine line between trying to live normal lives in the wake of an unspeakable trauma and at the same time trying to get answers to questions that remain unaddressed by their university.

They need to have peace to heal, but there can be no healing without accountability.
It will be very easy for you to check what Bork actually said against what the N&O reported because the news conference video with fine audio quality is available and in the first minute or two you'll be able to view and hear exactly what Bork said.

You can access the video here.

People will wonder how the N&O could take what Bork actually said and report what the N&O told readers.

You’ll note reporter Anne Blythe is co-bylined on the Feb. 22 story.

Blythe, you’ll recall, was also co-bylined on the now discredited Mar. 24 and 25 N&O stories which, among other disgraceful acts, repeatedly said with certainty that Crystal Mangum was “the victim,” withheld news the N&O had of Mangum’s criminal background which was material to the case and directly contradicted Mangum on certain key points, withheld news of the players extensive cooperation with police, and instead promulgated the “wall of silence” lie which misled the public and endangered the Duke students.

It must be upsetting for the students and their families to see the N&O again misrepresenting their actions and motives.

Has the N&O learned nothing since the day it published a five-column wide, front-page story telling people about what the N&O’s headline said was the then anonymous Mangum's “ordeal” which ended in “sexual violence?”

I request that you please seek corrections and provide Bork, the players and their families, and N&O readers with an explanation of why such significant misrepresentations occurred.

Thank you for your attention to these requests.

I’ll post your response in full at JinC.




Anonymous said...

Power Line compares NYTimes coverage of Duke lacrosse and the McCain smears:

Anonymous said...

McClatchy board of directors:

Anonymous said...

For the most part, the MSM lives in a la-la land of meta-narrative. They say what they want to say, irrespective of the truth. As KC pointed out, the best line in the lawsuit was: The simple truth is that they were indifferent to the truth. That describes the MSM as well.

Jack in Silver Spring

Anonymous said...

This is from jvj on the Liestoppers forum (Broken News thread):

"Today I received the following e-mail, one of the many much forwarded junk e-mails that crowd my inbox daily. It's an old one but appropriate for this thread...

A biker is riding by the zoo, when he sees a little girl leaning into the lion's cage. Suddenly, the lion grabs her by the cuff of her jacket and tries to pull her inside to slaughter her, under the eyes of her screaming parents. The biker jumps off his bike, runs to the cage and hits the lion square on the nose with a powerful punch. Whimpering from the pain, the lion jumps back letting go of the girl, and the biker brings her to her terrified parents, who thank him endlessly.

A reporter has seen the whole scene, and addressing the biker, says, "Sir, this was the most gallant and brave thing I saw a man do in my whole life."

"Why, it was nothing, really, the lion was behind bars. I just saw this little kid in danger, and acted as I felt right."

"Well, I'll make sure this won't go unnoticed. I'm a journalist, you know, and tomorrow's paper will have this on the first page. What motorcycle do you ride?"

"A Harley Davidson” the biker replied.

The journalist leaves. In the following morning the biker buys the Harold-Sun to see if it indeed brings news of his actions, and reads, on first page:


I thought this would make you smile.

Anonymous said...

See this call out of the N&O's mistake: