Monday, February 02, 2009

Follow-up to: Plaintiffs will questionNifong press contacts before Mar. 27, 2006

Readers' Note: Yesterday in Plaintiffs will question Nifong's press contacts before Mar. 27, 2006, I promised to provide some additional documentation regarding why attorneys for the greiviously wronged Duke lacrosse players and their families would do that during the discovery part of the suits they've against Nifong and others.

The post that follows - N&O publisher's response to Nifong as anonymous source questions - was published Feb. 18, 2007. It provides a good deal of additional documentation for yesterday's post.

I want to thank people who've commented here and at Liestoppers Meeting.

I'll have more to say by way or response to their comments in a post this evening.


Many of you know I recently sent Raleigh News & Observer Publisher Orage Quarles III the following email. You'll find his response just below it as well as a few comments of mine.


Dear Mr. Quarles:

This links to a post which includes the following email:

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.

I’ve inquired of reporters and editors about that and other uses the N&O may have made of Nifong as an anonymous source for your Duke lacrosse coverage.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.

I’m sorry to impose on you, but I’ve tried every other way to get responses from the N&O which should have been given to readers long ago.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

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


John in Carolina


Mr. Quarles has responded as follows:
Dear John in Carolina.

We do not provide anonymous source information.


Orage Quarles III

Folks, that's an interesting answer from a publisher who's been given documentation and citations of extensive statements one of his news columnists made to a book author who put the columnist's statements in quotation marks; the statements having to do with other N&O staffer(s) passing to Sheehan information from Nifong which Sheehan says convinced her to cancel the column she'd already prepared and instead write a column based on Nifong's source material but maintaining his anonymity.

It's also interesting that Quarles said nothing about document copies and citations I provided him which reveal the N&O's public editor made statements to a reader and blogger which are prima facie false.

I plan to respond to Quarles in a day or so.

You thoughts are welcome.


Anonymous said...

Every time I see statements from editors/publishers of MSM I wonder what color the sky is on their planet.
Tarheel Hawkeye

Anonymous said...

Does this look likr damage control?

JSwift said...

I understand the practice of not releasing information on most anonymous sources and accept that a public purpose can be served when anonymous sources (e.g., whistleblowers) provide information that can properly be confirmed. Without the promise of anonymity, many sources would not come forward.

However, in this case, what public purpose is served by protecting sources who knowingly give false information?