Sunday, April 26, 2009

N&O Editor Brags But Won’t Answer Lax Frame Questions

Raleigh News & Observer executive editor John Drescher’s weekly print columns are often infomercials for his paper.

Last week he offered readers – “Happiness is a warm readership” - which began:

The people have spoken. You like us. You really like us.
This week Drescher offers - "N&O not letting vigilance go."

The short of it: Drescher used most of his column to praise past N&O investigative reporting (much of it quite good and a genuine public service) and editor Steve Riley who’s been in charge of the N&O investigative reporting for the last six years. Drescher ends with:
The N&O has a long tradition of investigating. We've been wounded by this recession. But as much as some public figures would like for us to fade, we're not going away.

The expansion of our investigative team is a sign that we're staying on the case.

This watchdog still barks. And bites.
I’ve left the following comment on the column thread. I don’t expect Drescher to respond but it’s important to remind him and others of what happened, and to provide an opportunity for him to answer the questions I ask.


Editor Drescher:

You brag about exposing "Duke lacrosse prosecutor Mike Nifong."

The N&O's coverage - biased, racially inflammatory and, in places, deliberately fraudulent - laid out Nifong and others' frame-up script before he ever spoke publicly about the case. Who arranged that?

Ruth Sheehan says Nifong was the anonymous source for her “Team’s silence is sickening” column. Was Nifong an anonymous N&O source?

That would explain a lot about your coverage.

The N&O withheld for 13 months critically important information exculpatory for the lacrosse players. In Oct. '06 editor Williams said at the EB it would be libelous for the N&O to publish that information.

But the N&O later published the information the day after the NC AG said the players were innocent. It sure looks like Williams was lying.

Why did the N&O really withhold that information?

Is an investigation planned?

John in Carolina


Anonymous said...


Don not hold your breath waiting for a response to your questions - as in answers to the questions that you pose. My guess is that you will receive (if anything) a non-reply response something similar to the "thank you for your interest" or we love hearing from our readership but we are unable to personally answer all querires that we receive" that seems to be the standard form letter that passes as a missive from the press in this era.

Anonymous said...

The N&O should be ashamed of its March 2006 coverage. Will there ever be a reckoning?