Sunday, February 15, 2009

Did This Commenter Mean To Hurt The N&O?

There’s a comment on the thread of N&O Still Sells Photos of Bogus Swim Story I want to share with you.

I’m not sure whether the Anon commenter really means what’s said or whether the Anon is trying to make the McClatchy Co.’s liberal/leftist Raleigh N&O and its defenders appear very indifferent to the truth and willing to treat N&O readers as dummies.

Read this post, make your decision and let me know what you think.

Anon’s in italics; I’m in plain.

Anon begins - - -

Hellooooo, hellooo? Stupid people? Can you hear me? Good. Now, listen up. I'll type very slowly so you can follow along:

Typing “very slowly” for us “[s]tupid people” here. Well, let's see what comes next.

This story never ran in the paper. It is an Associated Press that was included on the paper's web site. The story was not edited by anyone besides the AP.

By “never ran in the paper” Anon means never ran in the N&O’s print edition.

I never said it did. It ran in the N&O’s online edition,, to which I linked.

Whether in the print or online editions, the N&O claims stories that appear at either or both places as ones it's published.

No one disputes the N&O published an AP story. I identified it as such. That doesn’t relieve the N&O of its responsibility for publishing the story.

As to whether the story “was not edited by anyone besides the AP,” do you think our slow-typing Anon meant to say: “not edited by anyone at the N&O?”

I do. And that leads to these questions:

If no one at the N&O at least read what was coming off the AP wire, what does that say about the N&O’s editorial standards?

Does the N&O just pass on and publish at or in its print edition whatever comes off the AP's notoriously unreliable wire?

Anon seems to be saying, “Yes.”

I hope that’s not the case. But people at the N&O tell me it does happen there.

The N&O, like practically every other newspaper, gives readers full access to the AP's world and nation report. It's a reader service, and god forbid the paper should be accused of covering up anything.

Anon doesn’t explain why the N&O is not giving readers “full access” to the correction the AP was forced to issue once the Figge fraud was exposed.

The AP’s correction’s nowhere on the page where the N&O reports the bogus AP story and a sidebar hyping McClatchy copyrighted photos of the bogus “event” along with a “Buy” button that takes readers to The N&O Photo Store where they can order framed photos of Figge and her “event."

Information, as they says, wants to be free. Of course, with free information, you get what you pay for. Had you purchased the print edition of the paper, editors would have scrutinized this story and perhaps caught the AP's imbecility.

Interesting that now Anon is taking shots not at us “stupid people” but at the N&O and the AP.

According to Anon we get “free information” at so we should not expect it to be as reliable as the N&O for which we pay.

Ouch! What a smackdown of

Who would have thought is so cheesy if Anon had not slowly typed things out for us?

But does Anon have it right? Is really less trustworthy than the print N&O?

I find that hard to believe.

Folks, below is the rest Anon’s comment. I may post again on the comment.

In closing, I’ll tell you – no kidding - I’m not sure whether Anon is just sincere, condescending and confused; or whether Anon is really angry at the N&O and/or McClatchy and decided: “I’ll post this comment at JinC and it will get John to expose how shameless and bad the N&O’s been on this story; something John hasn’t really done so far.

I’ve reported; you decide.

Now the last words go to Anon who explains capitalism and then provides some healthy living tips.

The picture is for sale because one can buy any picture on the paper's web site. This is called capitalism. If you wish to purchase and frame a picture of the hoax swimmer to remind yourself daily of the mainstream media's incompetence and perfidy, knock yourself out.

And finally, get out and get some fresh air. The weather is beautiful today. You all need more of a life.


Anonymous said...

Hey, John. Steve Merelman here, 1A editor of The N&O. I think the dyspeptic commenter is pretty accurate -- the web site contains lots of AP copy that comes via an automatic feed. And you can find the AP's rollback of the swimmer story on the site as well:

Also, I wanted to reiterate my invitation of a few months ago. You or any of your readers are welcome to come visit us down here any time you like, and attend my front-page news meeting. I know you don't wish to reveal your true identity, and you certainly don't have to. Heck, you can wear a Lone Ranger mask if you want. But the door is always open -- or 829-8950.

All the best,


JWM said...

Dear Steve,

Thank you for your response.

There is no correction on the page where the bogus story is published, and where the N&O links to its copyrighted photos for sale (framed and unframed) at its Photo Shop.

In an earlier post I reported the AP had made a correction and that had it available.

From that previous post: "If you’re thinking: 'This sounds too good to be true,' you’re right. The story’s bogus and after much pressure the AP has finally printed a correction which is available at"

Here’s the URL:

Why hasn’t the N&O placed the correction and an alert to the rollback story at the head of the original bogus story you were still hosting at at least until just a few hours ago?

When I went now, first a little before and then at 9 PM ET today, 2/15/09, to archives and searched using the entry word “Figge” and the date frame 2/1/09 to 2/15/09, no articles were found.

Using only the search word “Figge” I expanded the search date frame to all days hosted in the archives.

That produced three articles, none of them related to “Atlantic swimmer” Figge.

I checked spelling, dates and then reentered the data.

The results for both date frames were the same.

What happened? Am I doing something wrong? Where are’s “Atlantic swimmer” Figge stories and the correction I found there?

I hope you can help.

I printed and saved a search report from the all dates search and will include that in a post tomorrow.

I’ll be in touch with you tomorrow regarding the rest of you comment.

I appreciate your reading and commenting.



Ken said...

The commenter might have some sort of a point. The AP is probably one of the few "news" organizations worse than the N&O. But, somehow, I don't think that is what he was trying to say.

Anyhow, anyone who believes anything in the lapdog media is simply not paying attention.

Anonymous said...

"Those who do not subscribe to a newspaper are uninformed, those who do are misinformed". Mark Twain via Steve in New Mexico