Friday, February 22, 2008

The Raleigh N&O’s suit story needed correction and

it got one.

Here’s what happened.

This morning the N&O reported [excerpt]:

The 38 members of the 2006 Duke lacrosse team who filed the suit in federal court say their reputations were damaged by their association to an escort service dancer's phony gang-rape allegations.

The players chose not to appear at the news conference [announcing the site filing], said Bob Bork Jr., the group's hired publicist, because they don't want to attract attention. …

The event was at the National Press Building in downtown Washington, a block from the White House.

"This is kind of a media center," said Bork, son of the Supreme Court nominee rejected during the Reagan years. "And Durham isn't. Sorry." … (entire story here)
A few hours later a correction was published in which Bork said, “I was quoted out of context by the Raleigh News and Observer this morning”

The correction continued[excerpt]:
"What I said was that we held it in Washington because the law firm representing the players and their families is located in Washington, D.C., many of the families live there and I chose the National Press Club because of facilities that make it a center for media events.

Several reporters from North Carolina had complained to me about having to come to DC.

So, I apologized by saying, 'Sorry.' I never said 'Durham isn’t.'"
Folks, are you thinking that correction doesn’t sound like something the N&O would do?

You’re right.

Bork himself issued the correction at the Web site

You can read the entire correction, part of a blog post, here.

I’m putting on my “must visit daily” list. I hope you do too.

Message to Mr. Bork: I’m glad you posted the correction. I plan to ask N&O public editor Ted Vaden what he thinks the N&O should do in this circumstance.

I’ll post my email to Vaden tomorrow. It will include an offer to post in full his response. I’ll let you know what, if anything, I hear back.

I’m delighted you’re part of the truth-seeking team. I’m confident most people who visit JinC are too.



bill anderson said...

And why am I not surprised? Look for the N&O to give extremely hostile coverage to the players. No lie will be too big for the N&O to swallow.

Danvers said...


Another delibrate misquote, and in my opinion, a far more serious one:-

N&0 said: " 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."

Bob Bork (actually) said: "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."

The N&O really needs to be held accountable - go get 'em!

Anonymous said...

Thanks John

I naturally am a bit skeptical when I read Anne @ the N&O, but I usually except the quotes as being accurate. I also leave open the possibility that some quotes are a bit out of context.

That said, when I read the "And Durham isn't. Sorry" I laughed at how it sent a message about one of the defendants. I then wonder if a PR firm such as Bork Communication Group would really say it.

It was silly of me to even think that a quote like that would be accurate in the N&O.