The Raleigh News & Observer, whose racially inflammatory, grossly biased and often false coverage led the media frenzy which launched the Duke witch hunt and enabled so many of the injustices that followed, today runs another “blogs are bad” story.
This one’s headlined:
Advertising blogs churn out some of the Web's more scathing, and personal, vitriol. Recently, the bloggers absorbed some body blows of their own.The entire N&O story is here.
Visitors to AgencySpy and AdScam, two sharp-tongued blogs written by advertising industry insiders, posted comments blaming the sites for contributing to the suicide late last month of Paul Tilley, 40, the creative director of DDB Chicago.
In so doing, bloggers and their readers added another chapter in a long debate about how, or whether, to manage anonymous posts that seem aimed at shredding a person's reputation. …
Gregory K. Brown, a specialist on suicide at the University of Pennsylvania, said public humiliation could play a role in suicide because "hopelessness is often a major risk factor, and if you've been publicly humiliated and your reputation has been tarnished forever, you could see how someone could become hopeless."
Before his death, Tilley had come under particularly harsh criticism on the blogs. …
The story does not say MSM news organizations frequently air and print anonymous source comments every bit as critical of people – and often much more so – than the comments the N&O reports were directed at Mr. Tilley, whose death I regret.
Do you recall during the 2004 presidential campaign the charges Dan Rather and CBS' 60 Minutes hurled at President Bush based on forged documents they obtained from an anonymous source they said was “unimpeachable?”
It turned out Rather’s and CBS’ “unimpeachable” anonymous source was long-time Bush-hater and Democratic Party activist Bill Burkett who only agreed to give them some of the documents after they’d arranged for him to speak directly with President Clinton’s former Press Secretary Joe Lockhart, who was then one of Sen. Kerry’s top aides.
The N&O itself allowed Crystal Mangum to anonymously make demonstrably false charges of gang-rape, beating, strangulation and racial harassment against a group of innocent Duke students.
It splashed her charges across five columns of its front-page in a story it said was about a night ending in “sexual violence” of which she was “the victim.”
The N&O even praised her in an editorial for having “the courage” to come forward and make her accusations for which the NC attorney general later said there was no credible evidence.
And now the N&O warns us about blog comments.
Folks, there are some blog comments that deserve to be deleted. I delete, for example, ad hominems.
Compare that with the N&O’s “journalism standards” which allowed Crystal Mangum to make unsubstantiated and vicious attacks on innocent students; after which the N&O hyped her false statements; made false statements itself; and encouraged and affirmed the hate-filled pot-bangers and "Duke 88" types who attacked and endangered the students.