Friday, April 04, 2008

Raleigh N&O Arrogance (Post 4)

Readers Note: This is the fourth of a five-post series providing examples of the Raleigh News & Observer’s arrogance during its Duke lacrosse coverage. The examples also reveal some of the disingenuousness that was an essential and pervasive part of the N&O’s grossly biased, racially inflammatory and often false Duke Hoax reporting during Spring 2006 and thereafter.


This past Sunday Raleigh News & Observer publisher Orage Quarles III told readers:

We have a mission to advance our tradition of excellent public-service journalism and serve our community.
When I read that I thought of an email I sent Quarles some weeks ago (see post here) and his response.

Here's part of the email. I resume commenting below the star line.

Dear Mr. Quarles:

I’m an N&O subscriber and blog as John in Carolina.

For many months I’ve been posting concerning claims by Ruth Sheehan that then DA Mike Nifong was an anonymous source for her March 27, 2006 column “Team’s silence is sickening.” For example, in Nifong an N&O anonymous source (Post 1) 7/29/07 and Nifong an N&O anonymous source (Post 2) 8/1/08. ...

No reporter or editor would speak about the matter until recently when, in response to the email in this post - What's really hurting the N&O , Ted Vaden he sent me the email you’ll find in this post: N&O editor's response re: Nifong an anonymous source.

You'll see Vaden’s email avoided my questions and contains statements which are prima facie false.

On Feb. 6 I sent Vaden another email and a link to this post: Is the N&O public editor's job about the truth?

I once again laid out all the material relating to the N&O’s use of Nifong as an anonymous source and asked again the questions I’ve been asking for many months.

I ended my email, which I also posted for JinC readers, with this:
Given all of the foregoing, Editor Vaden, it's difficult to see how a reasonably responsible public editor would claim Sheehan is saying anything other than Nifong was an anonymous source for her March 27 column; or that she is saying anything other than Nifong's source information was passed to her by journalist(s) she reached by phone at the N&O.

I hope you will now give me and all other N&O readers full and frank answers to the questions I've been asking about the N&O's use of Nifong as an anonymous source in March 2006.

Isn't that the kind of service a public editor is supposed to provide readers?

If you can't provide that service, please direct me to someone at the N&O or the McClatchy Company who can?

I'll publish your response in full at my blog.

Thank you for your attention to this document.


John in Carolina
I’ve not heard anything back from Vaden.

I ask that you review the documentation and questions in my post and then direct me to the person at the N&O or in the McClatchy Company who can provide full and frank answers to what Ruth Sheehan has said and the questions I’ve asked. ...

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

I’ll publish your response in full at my blog.


John in Carolina

Now, folks, what sort of response to that email should a reader expect from an MSM newspaper publisher who tells them:
We have a mission to advance our tradition of excellent public-service journalism and serve our community?
Here in full is Quarles' response:
Dear John in Carolina.

We do not provide anonymous source information.


Orage Quarles III
Given the matters I raised, including false statements his public editor made to a reader, and the documentation I provided him, I was hoping for something more from Quarles.

His response is arrogant and disingenuous.

It's an example of both the contempt many MSM news executives and journalists have for readers and of their willingness to overlook the actions of those within their ranks who knowingly mislead readers.

Is it any wonder the public holds journalists in such low esteem?


scott said...

Is it any wonder the public holds journalists in such low esteem?

And why I refuse to spend any money at any time on a "news"paper ever again.

From the looks of the revenue performance at McClatchy, I'm not alone.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Anonymous said...

A once noble profession is now being abused by jerks like Quarles. They can't and won't be taught, they are totally irresponsible. I used to be like you, John, and I tried time and again to initiate discussion with editors and reporters. Their arrogance finally caused me to give up my efforts. I admire your persistence, but I'll repeat what I said about rassling hogs: you get dirty and the hog enjoys it.
Tarheel Hawkeye

Anonymous said...

Thanks John

It's hard to determine what the left hand is doing if we go by what the right hand is tellin' us. And it just gets worse when you add more hands.


Anonymous said...

How involved was Quarles in the late March 2006 N&O coverage? He's the publisher. Does anyone know who the primary editor was for the frame coverage during that period? Who made the decision to publish the defamatory lacrosse poster?

Anonymous said...

Why isn't more attention being paid by attorneys to the N&O's role in Nifong's criminal frame of the lacrosse players?

Anonymous said...

Let me tell y'all something I read several weeks ago. Can't recall if it was in the N&O paper or online.

There have been a few articles written on Tim Tyson's same ole book being turned into a movie. Turns out the director (don't remember his name) is from Charlotte and is now successful in films.

In the story, it also discussed the long coverage of the 1898 Wilmington riots written also by Tyson.

And just who was responsible for the big idea to make a big long magazine for the N&O on the riots back in 2006?

None other than Orage Quarles.

What exactly was the reason to do it in the year 2006?

Is there some correlation between 1898 and 2006 that would make it some big anniversary? No.

Why didn't they do it in 1998. An even hundred years would have been understandable, but they rushed the topic and made a big media blitz about it in 2006.

Are you guys following me?

When they sensed that there would be no real rape case later on in the year, they took all the race hype and wanted to keep it going. Ever making it seem that black people are owed something from now to eternity. Victims, victims, victims.

And trying to capitalize on the hardship they had already caused the falsely accused lacrosse players.

It was stated that publisher Quarles came up with the idea and went to Melanie Sill about it.

Someone needs to ask him why he wanted to put so much money and time into such a story in 2006. How did he come up with the idea?

Was it productive to keep the ill feelings about race alive after what had just happened in Durham?

Anonymous said...

12:06 pm,

Because Wade Smith, Cheshire, and the rest are liberals. Smith is tight with John Edwards if I recall correctly.

They don't want to alienate their own city paper which in my opinion was a problem early on.

They should have been on the N&O from the start for what they did.

Anonymous said...

Then perhaps some out-of-town lawyers will step up to the legal plate.

JWM said...

This comment is intended for all 8 of you who've previously commented,

I plan in the weeks to come to respond on the main page to all the matters you’ve mentioned here.

I promise this week to post in response to the first two comments re: readers tuning out on newspapers and the value of initiating discussion with MSM journalists.

I'll come back to this thread next weekend, review it and then post on the main page my next response to what's been said here.

Thank you all.


Anonymous said...

J in C: If you have sources within the N&O, is it possible to get answers to some of these specific questions? In other words, can you shed any light on what went on inside the newspaper in late March 2006?