Sunday, August 17, 2008

Char. Observer's Hunter's baby's birth certificate reporting

The Raleigh N&O didn't lead on the locating and publication of the birth certificate of the baby born to Rielle Hunter's and a father so far unnamed on the birth certificate. The Charlotte Observer did that.

Yesterday I posted Raleigh N&O and Charlotte Observer Edwards coverage in which I said that and linked to a number of sources where that could all be confirmed.

Never the less, I'm hearing from people insisting N&O reporter Lorenzo Perez is responsible for locating the birth certificate; and that the N&O lead in publishing it.

Here's an example:

[Raleigh N&O reporter] Lorenzo Perez has a byline on the birth certificate story. He works for the N&O. You keep saying the charlotte o wrote that story. Clearly you have an error. I look forward to seeing your correction and apology on this blog.
My response:

At Charlotte Observer.com with a date of 7/31 Commenter and others will find:

"Birth certificate for Rielle Hunter's child lists no father
Former aide to John Edwards had claimed paternity in December"


By Lisa Zagaroli
McClatchy Newspapers
Posted: Thursday, Jul. 31, 2008

The birth certificate of a child who a tabloid newspaper claims is linked to former Sen. John Edwards doesn't identify a father.

The certificate, obtained by The Charlotte Observer today, shows Frances Quinn Hunter was born Feb. 27, more than two months after an Edwards aide claimed to be the father. Andrew Young, a former Edwards campaign finance director, claimed paternity in a statement from his lawyer posted at the political blog mydd.com. (emphasis added) …

The rest of Zagaroli's Observer story’s here. It's accompanied by a photocopy of the birth certificate.


The Columbia Journalism Review’s Clint Hendler credits the Observer’s Zagaroli with reporting on the birth certificate. He doesn’t even mention Perez.

And Drescher himself, in his Aug. 13 column touting what he called the N&O’s “aggressive” Edwards scandal coverage, doesn’t claim Perez had anything to do with locating and reporting on the birth certificate.

Drescher knew the McClatchy wire had carried a story headed, bylined, dated and beginning, all as follows:

No dad listed for child in tab reports

News & Observer, The (Raleigh, NC)
News B4
Lisa Zagaroli
Lorenzo Perez Mcclatchy Newspapers

Published: August 1, 2008

The birth certificate of a child whom a tabloid newspaper has linked to former Sen. John Edwards doesn't identify a father.

The certificate, obtained by The Charlotte Observer on Thursday, shows that Frances Quinn Hunter was born Feb. 27, more than two months after an Edwards aide claimed to be the father. Andrew Young, a former Edwards campaign finance director, claimed paternity in a statement from his lawyer posted at the political blog mydd.com. (emphasis added)

The girl was born at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, Calif., to Rielle Jaya James Druck, also known as Rielle Hunter. Hunter, 44, was a videographer on Edwards' presidential campaign last year. …

The rest of the story from the McClatchy wire is here.

Bylines are extremely important in journalism. Reporters fight to have their names bylined because it indicates the story reflects their work. Individual newspapers and wire services add their names to bylines to let each other and readers know they are responsible for a story’s content and publication.

In the Observer story, Zagaroli got an individual byline because she and the Observer had located and published the birth certificate.

In the McClatchy wire service story, Zagaroli is listed ahead of Perez. The wire story leads with text straight from Zagaroli’s story and clearly states the Observer located and published the birth certificate.

Perez is bylined second on the McClatchy wire story but no claim is made he or the N&O had anything to do with locating it or first publishing the birth certificate.

If you remove from the wire service story the text that appeared in Zagaroli’s Observer story concerning the birth certificate, what's left is what journalists sometimes call background filler.

I don’t doubt the N&O’s Perez contributed to the filler.

Well there you are, folks.

I’m confident the documentation and discussion I’ve provided here will assure the fair-mined among you that I work to document the facts I present.

I do sometimes make factual mistakes but I'm quick to acknowledge and correct them as Regulars saw when ABC News’ Martha Raddatz called my MCain-54 mistake to my attention.

The commenter, likely a troll, who prompted this post can have the last word here, although I’ll use the comment again later today in another post:
[Raleigh N&O reporter] Lorenzo Perez has a byline on the birth certificate story. He works for the N&O. You keep saying the charlotte o wrote that story. Clearly you have an error. I look forward to seeing your correction and apology on this blog.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

How pathetic of the N&O. It's good to know there is an exception to the general McClatchy philosophy. He is the editor of the Charlotte Observer, Mr. Thames. As long as the current publisher and top editors of the N&O remain in place, the Raleigh newspaper will continue to follow its obvious ideological and leftist agenda.

Anonymous said...

John Drescher's column today tries to make it look like the N&O worked the Edwards story hard.
What a load.
They did little until they were forced to.

Off topic: John McCain was awesome in the debate last night. He creamed Obama with his on point and decisive answers.
I see Obama fading as the public sees more of his lack of convictions and lack of answers to important problems.

Anonymous said...

John,

Great work.

Do McClatchy's execs know the N&O blew the Edwards story.

Or are they fooled by Drescher's "we were all working on the story, but Edwards didn't like us so there was nothing we could do" bleating?

Anonymous said...

John: Maybe you haven't noticed, but that troll has been lurking for a while on your blog.
Tarheel Hawkeye

Anonymous said...

From Hot Air re one reason N&O sat on Edward's affair story:

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/08/18/edwards-to-editor-on-hunter-story-last-year-did-i-mention-my-wife-has-cancer/

Edwards to editor on Hunter story last year: Did I mention my wife has cancer?posted at 12:59 pm on August 18, 2008 by Allahpundit
Send to a Friend | printer-friendly Via Byron York, who calls it “breathtaking” when it’s really just par for the course. In case you were wondering whether Edwards himself was stoking the “protect Elizabeth” meme to get big media to suppress the story, consider your suspicions confirmed. Flashback to October 11, 2007, shortly after the Enquirer’s story first broke and Edwards had finally been asked about it on the trail. The editor of his hometown paper, the News & Observer, was weighing whether to report the denial — they didn’t, of course — when the phone rang.
By the time Edwards called, we had decided not to publish the story in the Friday paper. But Edwards didn’t know that. I wanted to hear what he had to say. We still could have reversed our decision.
Edwards told me that the allegations were not true.
He said The N&O was the paper that arrived on his doorstep every day, the one read by friends of him and his wife, Elizabeth.
He said he’d never called before to complain or state his case. Given Elizabeth’s health — she has cancer — he said it was especially important to him that the story not run in The N&O.
He was calling from an airport, and we spoke only a few minutes.
I made no promises.
Edwards’ comments were off the record. Because he has acknowledged he lied, I feel free to report them.
Anything wrong with a guilty husband doing what little he can to protect his sick wife after the fact? Nope — except that, as we now know by Edwards’s own admission, Elizabeth Edwards had already learned about the affair by that point. He claims he told her in 2006; HuffPo’s timeline says it was April 2007 at the latest, fully six months before the Enquirer story broke. Which makes what he told the N&O a lie, and a bad lie at that. Was he seriously suggesting that she wouldn’t have found out about the story if their hometown paper hadn’t mentioned it when it was already screaming from every checkout counter in America?

snip

Archer05 said...

John, I would write more about this article, but I can’t type while doubled over laughing. Drescher has Gone ‘Round the Bend.
---------------------
Edwards went for big time
by John Drescher

“Forgive me if I'm straining to believe John Edwards' version of events”

http://www.newsobserver.com/2711/story/1181346.html

reunionpi said...

Andrew Young the admitted father of the John Edwards story: The arrests for worthless checks, DWI, burglary, criminal mischief, the federal tax lien

webofdeception.com