Thursday, February 12, 2009

N&O Fell For Bogus Atlantic Swimmer Story

A few days ago the McClatchy Company’s liberal/leftist Raleigh News & Observer headlined

56-year-old becomes 1st woman to swim Atlantic
The story, under AP reporter Danica Coto’s byline, begins:
Jennifer Figge pressed her toes into the Caribbean sand, exhilarated and exhausted as she touched land this week for the first time in almost a month.

Reaching a beach in Trinidad, she became the first woman on record to swim across the Atlantic Ocean - a dream she'd had since the early 1960s, when a stormy trans-Atlantic flight got her thinking she could don a life vest and swim the rest of the way if needed.

The 56-year-old left the Cape Verde Islands off Africa's western coast on Jan. 12, battling waves of up to 30 feet (9 meters) and strong winds.
The rest of the story’s here.

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

Why did N&O news editors publish a literally unbelievable story without doing a little fact-checking?

JammieWearingFool has been on this story and today provides background and sharp commentary.

McClatchy Watch adds more, including the fact Coto is a former McClatchy reporter.

Give both bloggers a look.

You’ll then be shaking your head and wondering why the AP, McClatchy and the N&O are always boasting about their hundreds of editors who do all that fact-checking.


Anonymous said...

I don't think this was actually in the paper -- just part of the automatic AP wire feed to the paper's web site.

Almost as shocking as the Affair of the Missing Link.

Anonymous said...

Next;"Grandmother Runs Four Minute Mile"

Anonymous said...

And this is not apropos to the above story,but wouldn't an amendment making it illegal for college presidents whose schools take fer money to make over 500KI go over well.Think I'll call my rep

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:53:

Is that you Ted Vaden?

Anonymous said...

Also, the "liberal/leftist" thing is a bit goofy. It reminds me of "ChiComs" or something like that. Antiquated. What next? Decrying the swarms of Irish immigrants to our fair shores?

Anyway, it's none too persuasive. I think you'd be better off making coherent arguments than name-calling.

Anonymous said...

To the Anon @1.03AM: Gee, you're so astute and intellectual like. Would you mind if we all just kinda curled up at your feet and tried to learn some of your cutting-edge ideas? You and your Left/Lib friends are just so brilliant, we ordinary folk are jealous and wish we could be just like you.
Tarheel Hawkeye

Anonymous said...

Calling a spade a spade is now considered "name calling?" What if we were to use the descriptive "Right Wing Conservative" to describe the National Review or The Washington Times? Most people would say that's pretty accurate as well as informative. Of course, I can understand why someone of the Leftist persuasion would say being called a leftist is tantamount to being called a dirty word, but it's not name-calling. And in many cases, identifying a media outlet which claims to be non-partisan as being leftist is, in itself, an argument.