Washington Post Reporters Believes Bogus Police Report Over Own Editorial Aide Eye Witness And Photographic & Video Evidence

from the this-is-why-no-one-trusts-the-press dept

Post updated to clarify that it was an editorial aide, rather than an editor who witnessed things

Via Jay Rosen we learn of the absolutely bizarre story of how a Washington Post editorial aide witnessed an altercation involving an off-duty police officer who pulled his gun on people in a snowball fight -- and the eventual Washington Post writeup on the story which completely ignored the eyewitness account of its editorial aide in favor of the claim by the police that the gun wasn't drawn. Yes, a Washington Post staffer happened to have been on the scene and witnessed the whole thing. He called it in and told a reporter about it -- but the reporter simply ignored the guy's account. As Jay Rosen notes: "Who you gonna believe? The police department or your own staffer's lying eyes?" Even worse, by the time the Washington Post put out its report, there was already photographic evidence of the drawn gun posted online, along with a video where the cop admits to pulling the gun.

Later on, the Washington Post did "update" its report, mentioning the online evidence, but waited for quite some time before finally linking to the video (and never linked to the photos). As the Washington City Paper notes about this, it's in part due to very old school media thinking:
Yet the reason why the Post screwed this up is that they all have linkophobia. If you link to an outlet---such as, God forbid, the Washington City Paper---you've lost. You got scooped and all your colleagues are going to look down on you. Linking is a huge sign of weakness---you just can't do it. Far better to, like, call a top police official, buy his version of events, and just place it in a post, regardless of the contradicting evidence that's already posted elsewhere.

Take a close look at that 10:20 update on the maybe-gun-pulling cop: "The plainclothes D.C. police detective may have unholstered his pistol during the confrontation with participants in the huge snowball fight, based on video and photos posted on the Internet."

Bold and italics are mine. They're mine because this is the most cowardly, selfish, arrogant news conduct out there today. What the fuck is "video and photos posted on the Internet"? How does that help readers? It's as if I can go to www.internet.com, and there, on the first screen, will be the video and photos of the snowball fight and the maybe-gun-wielding cop. "Posted on the Internet" would be acceptable if this were 1997.

The reporters used this hazy phrasing because they were too chicken-shit to do something that we all have learned to do over the past, say, decade or more. And that's to link to competitors and acknowledge their contributions to stories.
Remember, this is the Washington Post, that recently had a column claiming that a blog linking to a Washington Post story (multiple times) had ripped off the Washington Post. So, perhaps that explains why the Washington Post refused to link to others who had more accurate takes on the story. It didn't want to "rip them off," and preferred to get the story wrong, even though it employed an eye witness.

So where are all those reporters who insist that the professional press is needed because they get this stuff right, while it's the upstarts that rush to post false claims?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 8:52am

    This is the kind of thing that's exactly what's wrong with newspapers, and it's going to end up screwing them over sooner rather than later.

     

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    The Anti-Mike, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 8:56am

    Moaning about nothing

    How does that help readers? It's as if I can go to www.internet.com, and there, on the first screen, will be the video and photos of the snowball fight and the maybe-gun-wielding cop. "Posted on the Internet" would be acceptable if this were 1997.

    OMFG, this guy needs to grow up and get a life. If the average internet user can search and find cam video recording made in movie theaters and operate P2P software to get the files, and to potentially use WinRAR or similar to stitch together parts to play on their XVid player, they can freaking look on the internet and find the images.

    Stop telling other people what to do. If the newspaper doesn't want to link, they don't link - just don't link back to them. If the public thinks it is wrong, they won't use their service. Quit scolding them like children. It's their choice, work with it.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 9:07am

    Re: Moaning about nothing

    "Stop telling other people what to do. If the newspaper doesn't want to link, they don't link - just don't link back to them. If the public thinks it is wrong, they won't use their service. Quit scolding them like children. It's their choice, work with it."

    The hypocrisy here is amusing.

     

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  4.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 9:07am

    Re: Moaning about nothing

    Hello Igtor! How are you today?

    Working on your diction and spelling, I see. Good, good. Keep it up, someday you'll be forming coherent sentences.
    ; )

     

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  5.  
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    Lucretious, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 9:09am

    Off Topic but what I'd like to know is how a DC detective can afford a Hummer....

     

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  6.  
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    That's Funny, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 9:10am

    Re: Moaning about nothing

    TAM -> "Quit scolding them like children. It's their choice, work with it."

    LOL - Those kids are so cute ... now run along and go play outside, the adults are having a conversation.

    What about the publication of known false information? What about journalistic integrity?

    aLSO, I think you have an inflated opionion about the technical expertise of the average internet user.

     

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  7.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 9:11am

    Re: Re: Moaning about nothing

    "The hypocrisy here is amusing."

    That's what I thought, too. I can't help but laugh when lines like "Stop telling people what to do" are uttered, as they're so blatantly hypocritical.

    Sort of like, "Shut your mouth when you're talking to me"...

     

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  8.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 9:11am

    Re: Moaning about nothing

    So, you're fine with woefully poor, biased reporting and poor sourcing because some people use the internet to break the law? I also notice that you decided to mock a 3rd party critic rather than address the actual ethical and behavioural issues raised. Nothing like going for the low hanging fruit instead of the real issues, huh? I mean, the media is only meant to be the fourth estate, who cares if they act independent of authority?

    Oh, and how do you reconcile the actions detailed here with your claim in the previous thread:

    "News sites will not run columns without having rights to them.... Almost every media in the world assures that they have rights before they run something."

    Surely the details in the prior Washington Post articles prove you wrong?

     

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  9.  
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    No!, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 9:12am

    Re:

    Must .. resist ..

     

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  10.  
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    BullJustin (profile), Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 9:20am

    Re: Moaning about nothing

    I somewhat agree. If the average internet user can do these things then a simple search would reveal the photo and video evidence. Unfortunately this is not aimed at the average internet user. Those under 30 are very capable in this regard, however this demographic doesn't go to the Washington Post for their news.

    The demographic served by the Washington Post (and most traditional newspapers) is the one that was accustomed to going to these papers when that was all that was available. This demographic tends to be less capable in search techniques and thus any help a website or newspaper can provide to get these people to the source of information should be given.

    Newspapers which are led and driven by those who believe that newspapers are the final arbiter of truth cannot point their users outside themselves without failing in their own eyes. Until they realize this they will continue to descend into irrelevance. Those who point this out are, to varying degrees, helping these newspapers regain their dominant position by pointing out their flaws. When the old guard either changes or is replaced the many voices crying for change from these behemoths will prove to have been helpful.

     

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  11.  
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    The Anti-Mike, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re: Moaning about nothing

    I doubt that Jay Rose is trying to make the Washington Post a better newspaper, I don't see that as his goal.

    If the newspaper gets a story wrong (and even Mike gets stories wrong, and he is an internet guru), tell them they got it wrong. Don't lecture them for their linking policies. If they are not serving their readers properly, the readers will move on. Perhaps rather than trying to "fix" the WP, which may not want to get "fixed", why not set up your own newspaper and show them how to do it?

    If they are so stupid as you suggest, let them die and be replaced by something else, just be prepared for the moment when there is nothing to replace them.

     

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  12.  
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    John Tedesco, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 9:37am

    "So where are all those reporters who insist that the professional press is needed because they get this stuff right, while it's the upstarts that rush to post false claims?"

    I was right there with you until that remark.

    Not all journalists view bloggers as riffraff. I follow a lot of blogs and online publications and value their insight.

    But most bloggers don't get paid a whole lot. That's why it was the Washington Post, and not a blog, that spent time and resources learning about the horrible conditions at Walter Reed. That's just one example of the many gripping, important stories published by newspapers that would be very difficult to write without financial support.

    So when people like me worry about the decline of newspapers, we're not saying all blogs suck, or that newspapers are always right. We're saying that in-depth journalism can really make a difference in people's lives, but it's expensive. That's why newspapers matter -- despite all their faults.

     

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  13.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Moaning about nothing

    Hey Igtor! We're just waiting for them to die.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 9:43am

    Re:

    That's a story for another publication :)

     

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  15.  
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    Esahc (profile), Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 9:43am

    Re: Moaning about nothing

    I'm amazed at the lengths you go to just to disagree with Mike.

     

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  16.  
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    Mitch da bitch, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 10:01am

    Prolly a Columbia grad....

    This is nothing new, the media in this country has so skewered itself with lies and deciet only a hyperpartisan leftist hack can even stand to read their crap...

    The new American Revolution is on the way and these liars will be held to account...

     

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  17.  
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    Sneeje (profile), Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Moaning about nothing

    "just be prepared for the moment when there is nothing to replace them."

    Ummm... first of all the things that will replace them already exist, for example, The Huffington Post.

    But even if you don't accept that, the only way you can make your statement is if you are completely ignoring economics and common sense. If people want something, i.e., news, they will pay for it, and someone will deliver it. Nature abhors a vacuum and the economics of markets behave similarly.

     

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  18.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 10:08am

    Re:

    I was right there with you until that remark.

    Not all journalists view bloggers as riffraff. I follow a lot of blogs and online publications and value their insight.


    The reference was not to "all journalists." Wasn't making that point at all. I said "where are *those* reporters" because it's a small group of them who do insist that is the case.

    So when people like me worry about the decline of newspapers, we're not saying all blogs suck, or that newspapers are always right. We're saying that in-depth journalism can really make a difference in people's lives, but it's expensive. That's why newspapers matter -- despite all their faults.

    Why? Why do *newspapers* matter? They don't. You're making a logical leap not supported by the statements. What you are saying is that *journalism* matters -- and it does. And sometimes journalism is expensive (sometimes it's not). That's also true. But the issue isn't how do we fund *newspapers*, it's how do we get journalism done.

     

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  19.  
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    Trails, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Moaning about nothing

    So wait, we're wrong for discussing the flaws in their linking policy. We should just "take it".

    Wait, what's wrong with pointing out their flawed reporting and their subsequent ridiculous "go find videos and photos and the internets" approach?

    Not sure why you're so against Mike and the quoted guy's portrayal here. Their comments are quite accurate, both in terms of the idiocy of the initial report, and the failure of the paper as an information delivery service in not linking to the videos and photos. Can you shed a little light on this?

    This kind of thing is a big part of the "theme" of Techdirt, so maybe you should just not read the site, rather than trying to tell Mike what he should or should not discuss.

     

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  20.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 10:10am

    Re: Re: Moaning about nothing

    Oh, and how do you reconcile the actions detailed here with your claim in the previous thread:

    Heh. Don't even bother. I caught TAM in a blatant flat-out falsehood, and his response was to just keep spinning:

    http://www.techdirt.com/article.php?sid=20091218/1807077434#c176

    He flat out stated that lawyers had made and won against Section 230 using a specific argument. He was wrong. But rather than admit that he just went off on some tangent. I get the sense that his latest burst of inanity today is because he's tried to over-compensate for being caught in a flat out lie.

     

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  21.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 10:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Moaning about nothing

    This kind of thing is a big part of the "theme" of Techdirt, so maybe you should just not read the site, rather than trying to tell Mike what he should or should not discuss.

    It would be a Christmas miracle...

     

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  22.  
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    John Tedesco, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 10:50am

    Re: Re:

    "Why? Why do *newspapers* matter?"

    Because newspapers are still spending a ton of money on salaries, open-records costs, and travel expenses to dig up important stories.

    There are very cool Web sites such as the Texas Tribune and Texas Watchdog that are sprouting up and doing great work. But other online ventures are having a tough time or dying off. Good journalism costs money, and newspapers are often footing the bill.

    Glad to see you didn't mean "all" journalists hold a grudge against blogs. Thanks for responding.

     

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  23.  
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    Yakko Warner, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 10:54am

    Re: Prolly a Columbia grad....

    Actually, the defense of a police officer is more of a right-leaning than left-leaning philosophy. A lot of publications may slant left, but judging by the number of links to WaPo from, say, Instapundit, I wouldn't throw this on the "leftist hack" pile.

    If anything, I'd say this demonstrates that any single publication can have an agenda, and it's more important to have multiple sources of information so the "balanced" truth filters out.

     

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  24.  
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    GVDdoubleE, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 11:08am

    You gotta love it...

    I enjoy how The Post posted another update, exactly 15 minutes after Techdirt, linking to the same YouTube video in the Techdirt writeup.
    UPDATE (10:57 p.m.) This YouTube video appears to show a confrontation with the detective. Warning: Contains strong language.

     

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  25.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 11:12am

    Re:

    "That's why it was the Washington Post, and not a blog, that spent time and resources learning about the horrible conditions at Walter Reed"

    Anyone that has ever been to walter reed knew about the conditions, paint flaking off the walls, mold, etc. Thats the problem with the newspapers today, you do one piece of accidental journalism that makes a splash and you consider it in-depth journalism.

    Heres a story for you "ACTA". You can do it as a series.

    Part 1 - What is ACTA?
    Part 2 - Who is sponsoring ACTA? (sure to piss of Hollywood and the record labels)
    Part 3 - Why is ACTA secret? (sure to piss off the white house, and the media companies)
    Part 4 - ACTA will allow your ISP to spy on you. (sure to piss off the general public, make sure you include the line on behalf of the record labels)
    Part 5 - Will ACTA lead to a police state? (sure to grab attention)
    Part 6 - What are the financial costs of ACTA to corporations? (sure to scare the hell out of the Telco's and ISP's)
    Part 7 - Can our already overburdened jails handle the criminalization of file sharing as a result of ACTA?
    Part 8 - etc .... you get the picture

    But to do that story would take integrity, research, and something politically motivated, profit driven news organizations lack ... a desire for the truth

     

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  26.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 11:16am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Because newspapers are still spending a ton of money on salaries, open-records costs, and travel expenses to dig up important stories.

    No, you misread my question. There are lots of *news organizations* that are spending money on salaries, open-records costs and travel expenses. I asked you why *NEWSPAPERS* matter.

    There are very cool Web sites such as the Texas Tribune and Texas Watchdog that are sprouting up and doing great work. But other online ventures are having a tough time or dying off. Good journalism costs money, and newspapers are often footing the bill.

    There are lots of news organizations that are making money. Some are online, some are on TV, some print stuff in magazines. Why are you so focused on newspapers? The fact that some online ventures have had trouble obviously should not damn online ventures. It just means some online ventures had better business models than others.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 11:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Moaning about nothing

    I see you're still not following your own advice. Typical.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re:

    Here Here! Why does the WP care about instant news anyway.

    They should uncover the wrong doings of those in charge of our unstable country. Get the bottom of the real issues, not some random snowball fight. Pick a subject and go with it, there seem to be plenty to go with right now.

     

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  29.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Get the bottom of the real issues, not some random snowball fight"

    If the snow ball fight was a human interest story I would understand the level of reporting.

    "Pick a subject and go with it, there seem to be plenty to go with right now."

    Lets send them a list on a weekly basis of what interests us, plus links to all the information they need to come upto speed. we can call it "Cooperative reporting", where the non professionals suggest and critique the professional reporters.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 12:40pm

    Re: You gotta love it...

    I live in the DC area and the Post is the real newspaper opposed to the red journalism of the moonie paper.

    Not taking a quote from an employee who was a direct witness is nuts. Not looking at the video which is running nationally on cable news is just insane.

     

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  31.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Moaning about nothing

    > Stop telling other people what to do. If the newspaper doesn't
    > want to link, they don't link - just don't link back to them. If
    > the public thinks it is wrong, they won't use their service. Quit
    > scolding them like children. It's their choice, work with it.

    And you just did exactly what you're complaining about it. Congrats, dumbshit.

     

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  32.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Actually I like the Idea of "Cooperative Reporting" it would actually be a great Idea. It would be like renaming spider crabs, alaskan king crabs. The reporters could then rationalize using external links, and begin actually replying to comments on their stories, and also engage the people reading their stories ....

     

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  33.  
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    The Anti-Esahc, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Re: Moaning about nothing

    I agree.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 1:34pm

    Re:

    "Off Topic but what I'd like to know is how a DC detective can afford a Hummer...."

    I remember when I graduated with an engineering degree and being surprised to learn that cops with high school diplomas started off making more than engineers and had much better job security and benefits. All in all, cops do pretty well, they just like to pretend otherwise as part of their hero image.

     

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  35.  
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    The Anti-Mike, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Moaning about nothing

    Sorry, it's a turn of a phrase in english.

    The point is made though: If you don't like what they are doing, go somewhere else for your news / views / whatever. Getting all mad at them or thinking you can tell them what do do is very unlikely to get results. If newspapers are a buggy whip business, why bother worrying about the quality of the whips?

    The hypocrisy is really there.

     

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  36.  
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    The Anti-Mike, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Moaning about nothing

    Off you go Mike, avoiding the subject.

    No blatant lie, sorry if you are english impaired.

    So, going to answer the questions here, or are you going to try to divert the discussion some more?

     

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  37.  
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    John Tedesco, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "There are lots of *news organizations* that are spending money on salaries, open-records costs and travel expenses. I asked you why *NEWSPAPERS* matter."

    There are indeed news organizations at the national level that spend money on investigative stories, such as 60 Minutes and Frontline. But when you drill down to local media markets, it's often newspapers that are doing this kind of work. There are some good TV and radio reporters in my city, but few of them are actually given time to dig through records, interview lots of people, and analyze data to produce in-depth stories.

    "The fact that some online ventures have had trouble obviously should not damn online ventures."

    I don't think online ventures should be damned. Neither should newspapers.

     

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  38.  
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    Godric, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Re:

    It's not the 'Hero Image' they are concerned about. They are concerned that the city, they work for, will notice and start cutting their pay, benefits and everything else. Much like they are trying to do in Atlanta with Police, Fire, EMS, ETC...

     

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  39.  
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    Godric, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 2:29pm

    Re:

    "We're saying that in-depth journalism can really make a difference in people's lives, but it's expensive."

    yes... all that bribing and glad handing does get expensive.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 2:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Moaning about nothing

    And you're still doing the exact same thing you're whining about.

     

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  41.  
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    The Anti-Mike, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Moaning about nothing

    Oh, by the way Mike:

    http://www.citmedialaw.org/blog/2009/barnes-v-yahoo-section-230-does-not-insulate-online- service-provider-from-contractual-liab

    It's nice to see you have hit the point of desperately trying to discredit me. I suspect it just means that I have hit a little close to home on more than one occassion, and now you are down to name calling to get back at me.

    Please. Enjoy the reading.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 3:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Moaning about nothing

    Umm, all the court decided there is that breach of contract charges are not precluded by 230(c)(1). Try harder.

     

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  43.  
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    Thr Anti-Mike, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 3:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Moaning about nothing

    That was the point. 230 isn't the save all.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 4:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Moaning about nothing

    No one said it was, but don't let that stop your straw man.

     

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  45.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 4:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Moaning about nothing

    That was the point. 230 isn't the save all.

    Why are you posting off-topic? This post has nothing to do with Section 230.

    And no one said that Section 230 was a "save all." So I'm not sure what you think you're proving other than that you continue to purposely misrepresent what is being said and the law.

    Cases have been lost when someone tried to bring a bogus Section 230 defense. Barnes is hardly the defining one (if you want one, try "Roommates"). And, I don't know why you're posting that everywhere as if you think we haven't seen it. We *wrote* about Barnes (multiple times) when it came out. There were some serious problems with the original ruling, but they've (mostly) been fixed, as the court admitted to making a huge mistake.

    But what you said was quite clear, that lawyers have brought cases where they've shown that if you have a "business relationship" section 230 doesn't apply. I asked you to prove it, and you have not. You were caught (not for the first time) getting the facts wrong. And in response you are now lashing out and posting a totally unrelated case in a variety of threads. You are like a little child who throws a temper tantrum when Mommy & Daddy catch you in a lie.

    Grow up. There's nothing wrong with admitting you made a mistake.

     

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  46.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 5:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "But when you drill down to local media markets, it's often newspapers that are doing this kind of work. "

    I'm guessing you work for a newspaper?

     

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  47.  
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    The Anti-Mike, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 6:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Moaning about nothing

    Not at all Mike.

    I don't have the time or desire to go off on a huge research project to prove you wrong, that case is already an indication that 230 doesn't cover or protect everything, and thus lawyers have argued on the other side of the law. Most companies won't get into it because they realize that 230 isn't going to protect them. This case happens to run a little in the other direction, but proved a point.

    Mike, you are being extremely picky on my words, not worrying about content but attempting to find fault so that you can mock me rather than engage in a discussion of issues. I always discuss the issues, I don't mock your grammar (amusing as it may be) and I don't pick nits. I go after the big parts of your stories which I feel you are slanting horribly much of the time.

    Be a man Mike, and address the issues, don't play little kid games.

    Yes, you caught me typing on the fly and using a contradictory term, it wasn't what I meant, but when you type 60 plus words a minute, sometimes things don't come out exactly as planned. You know what my meaning was, and with this link, I have shown you that there are limits on 230. I won't spend the hours or days to prove the point, I think it is enough to show that there are limits to 230.

    I did what I set out to do, yes you got me on some badly typed text, but in the end, I have proven the point.

    Accept it. NEXT.

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 7:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Moaning about nothing

    Wow, I can't believe I'm about to argue with a troll. Look, he already said what you've said (about 230 not being a coverall), but you're too damned dense to get it through your skull. Take a jackhammer to that concrete block between your ears and listen up, for once.

    You've proved nothing. Nothing at all. You've been asked for proof, and instead of defending your position properly you suddenly 'don't have the time.' Great. No time. So stop posting, then. Obviously you don't have the time.

     

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  49.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 8:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Moaning about nothing

    I don't have the time or desire to go off on a huge research project to prove you wrong, that case is already an indication that 230 doesn't cover or protect everything, and thus lawyers have argued on the other side of the law

    Um. What are you arguing against here? As I stated in the *very comment you replied to* no one said that Section 230 covers everything. But it is pretty clear on what it does cover, and you stated -- unequivocally -- that it did not cover a certain situation, and you were wrong, and you still refuse to admit it.

    Yes, of course there are limits to Section 230. No one denied that at all. So you are arguing against a strawman, as per usual.

    Mike, you are being extremely picky on my words, not worrying about content but attempting to find fault so that you can mock me rather than engage in a discussion of issues.

    What *issue* are you engaging on. Alex, I have directly engaged you on multiple issues, and you have shown no interest -- none -- in actually engaging. You have shown that you will purposely misstate my position, purposely argue against strawmen. The fact that you present yourself as "the anti-Mike" is pretty telling. The fact that you look to disagree with every post here, no matter how ridiculous and factually incorrect your statements are is telling.

    You are not here to engage on the issues. If you were, when we had substantive discussions you would learn. Yet you continue to make the same factual errors. We explained some rather basic economics to you, and yet you still confuse average cost with marginal cost. We have explained that section 230 doesn't cover everything, and you continually post comments where you even claim that we've said section 230 covers copyright issues -- when it clearly does not. In fact, I've corrected you at least three times on that very point, and even today you claimed that on copyright stories we just yell "230!" even though 230 has nothing to do with copyright.

    You have shown that you are ignorant of the law, of history, of technology, of economics and of statistics. I am more than willing to engage with anyone on this site over substantive issues, and I have tried repeatedly to do so with you -- believing against what everyone else has said here -- that you're not really just a "troll" but perhaps an uninformed and very confused individual.

    You have proven that is not the case.

    You have no interest in engaging on the issues. You only seek to make patently ridiculous statements to annoy folks. You are the classic definition of an internet troll.

    Yes, you caught me typing on the fly and using a contradictory term, it wasn't what I meant, but when you type 60 plus words a minute, sometimes things don't come out exactly as planned.

    What "contradictory term"? I don't see that anywhere. You made a declarative statement that in cases where there's a business relationship, lawyers have proven that 230 doesn't apply. That was quite a statement, and you have not and cannot back it up. That's not "a contradictory term" that's a false claim. You make many of these. I was just pointing this one out because it was so blatant.

    There are limits on 230. No one said otherwise. But what you claimed was that there were clear limits on 230 that were NOT THERE and DO NOT EXIST, and you still can't admit that you were wrong, instead using this to attack me and claim I'm "playing little kid games."

    Accept it. NEXT.

    I accept that you got caught in a blatant falsehood, one of many that you use to set up strawmen, and you're too immature to admit that you were wrong. It's sad, but it is what it is.

     

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  50.  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 9:17pm

    Re: Moaning about nothing

    "OMFG, this guy needs to grow up and get a life."

    That's nice of you, telling the guy how to live his life.

    "Stop telling other people what to do."

    Please, do keep telling other people that they have to stop telling people that they have to do something.

    "just don't link back to them."

    Well, to be fair, that is telling people what not to do. Does it count?

    "Quit scolding them like children."

    Good idea. People should stop scolding others. Bad people, bad! No soup for you!

    "It's their choice, work with it."

    It's a good thing they got you to tell them to work with it. They should do that, instead of telling others to "work with it" (the internet).

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    John Tedesco, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 10:04pm

    Re: Re:

    Reporters are routinely bribing people? Clue us all in with examples, this sounds fascinating.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    John Tedesco, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 10:11pm

    Re: Re:

    "Anyone that has ever been to walter reed knew about the conditions, paint flaking off the walls, mold, etc."

    If that's the case, why weren't the problems fixed?

    The answer is, not everyone has been to Walter Reed. The public didn't know there was a problem. And the military didn't address the issue until the Washington Post exposed the problem.

    "Thats the problem with the newspapers today, you do one piece of accidental journalism that makes a splash and you consider it in-depth journalism."

    How exactly was this "accidental journalism," and what does that term even mean?

    The two Post reporters who worked on this story spent months at Walter Reed and documented how it failed to treat wounded troops with dignity and top-notch care.

    That's not "accidental." That's commendable.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Gotrek and Felix, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 1:00am

    re: Alex the TAM the IgTor

    This is what I love about TechDirt.
    Not only are most of the posters intelligent,
    but when it's cold and miserable outside
    I can find plenty of flames to keep me warm.

    Still, Alex is getting tiresome.
    Please Mike, ban him or disemvowel him already.


    Merry Christmas everyone!

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 3:34am

    Re: Re: Re:

    They are concerned that the city, they work for, will notice and start cutting their pay, benefits and everything else.

    I'm pretty sure the city already knows how much they're paid.

     

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  55.  
    icon
    mikez (profile), Dec 24th, 2009 @ 6:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Get the bottom of the real issues, not some random snowball fight"

    If the snow ball fight was a human interest story I would understand the level of reporting.


    The snowball fight wasn't the issue, it was that an off-duty officer in plain clothes drew his gun without identifying himself to anyone. This is a big story in DC because DC just paid out $8.25m for false arrests in the Pershing Park lawsuit.

    The city is dealing with a lot of misconduct issues with the police, much of it stemming from top brass making bad decisions. Therefore a detective pulling a gun on a crowd of people with snowballs is much more than a human interest story.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    The Anti-Mike, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 6:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Moaning about nothing

    Mike, you are the master of weasel words, slippery concepts, and playing in the grey. Your method of choice to deal with people who want to make you stand in the light and declare "black or white" is to try to discredit them.

    Yet, in this story:

    http://techdirt.com/articles/20091220/2258407439.shtml

    the title of your post and the entire post hinges on the idea that the NY Times recognizes that Nokia's actions have nothing to do with innovation, yet the NY Times never discusses innovation at all in the article (they only use the word once, but as part of a company name).

    Why would you make this up?

    You have falsely put words into the NY Times "mouth". They didn't say a thing about innovation, but you would like them to.

    Would you like to explain this blatant falsehood and manipulation of a story to try to make the point you want to make, rather than telling the real story?

    Oh, I know, you will suggest that, in the grey area, they are inferring it. They didn't say it, they didn't talk about it, yet you are willing to draw the conclusion for them and attribute it to them. Amazing.

    As for the rest of it, Mike, it's pretty simple: I made a typing error, didn't complete a thought, and you match that up with another statement and declare me a liar. I think you are doing it because you are uncomfortable with many of the things I say, that I do expose many weaknesses in your arguments. I think this is pure political style diversion tactics.

    It's sad, you are the one who pushes for free speech, but as soon as that speech hits a little close to home, you are fast to pull out the guns and start shooting. Do you feel exposed?

     

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  57.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 24th, 2009 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Moaning about nothing

    the title of your post and the entire post hinges on the idea that the NY Times recognizes that Nokia's actions have nothing to do with innovation, yet the NY Times never discusses innovation at all in the article (they only use the word once, but as part of a company name).

    http://techdirt.com/article.php?sid=20091220/2258407439#c239

    You appear to have misread that story entirely, as Marcus aptly explains.

    I am sorry, truly, Alex, that your response to my comment above, where I once again tried to engage you directly, and take you to task for your long history of blatantly false statement was again turned into you lashing out wildly and incorrectly at my statements, making silly accusations that simply do not stand up to the laugh test.

    I do not use weasel words. I explain my position clearly, and you set up strawmen. When I point out that you are trying to knock down a strawman, you start flailing wildly, accusing me of weasel words. You claim -- falsely -- that I say Section 230 covers everything. I have done no such thing. You claim -- falsely -- that I say section 230 covers copyright. I have done no such thing. You claim -- falsely -- that Section 230 does not cover those in a business relationship. It does not. You claim -- falsely -- that I have said everything must be free. I have not.

    I do believe in free speech. But I also believe in calling out people who willfully misuse it. You are doing so. And you have been caught. You could admit it and change (or go away) or you could simply dig your hole deeper.

    I do not know what motivates you. But it is an incredible life indeed that gets joy from spreading blatantly false statements in a conversation even after others prove you wrong. If that is where life has led you, perhaps it is time to look for a new path.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    The Anti-Mike, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 5:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Moaning about nothing

    Mike, please.

    You have more than once insinuated here that 230 covers service providers from everything. No liability, no responsibility, no actions required on anything. Every time a service provider is caught up in any situation, you are the king of "230". It solves everything.

    It's clear that it does not, and now even you are admitting it.

    I understand you. You work the grey area, you work the slant. You rarely state your full opinion, you always leave yourself a little weasel room, a little space to step back, and a little space to shift yourself to get out of the way. One of the reasons Ipost here is because there is so much wrong and misleading in what you post, that someone needs to make everyone think about the other side, even if it is just for a second.

    The NY Times article is perfect - the headline suggests something that isn't at all in the story. I know you wish it was in the story, but it isn't in the story. I understand that, I wish you could be a man and admit that you wrote a biased headline.

    You get all up at me about what I post, but it's your site, your words that start each discussion, and yet you still feel the need to mislead people, either by suggesting something that is not true, by drawing conclusions that are not evident, or ignoring facts or information that doesn't support your views.

    Your site would be much more information and much more wider reaching if you let the stories tell themselves a little more, rather than trying so hard to reach conclusions that match up to your views and goals.

    So, now, Merry Christmas, and consider the idea of actually accepting that you too are capable of errors. I accept that every day, and that makes me a better person for it. Are you willing to try?

     

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  59.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 24th, 2009 @ 6:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Moaning about nothing

    You have more than once insinuated here that 230 covers service providers from everything. No liability, no responsibility, no actions required on anything. Every time a service provider is caught up in any situation, you are the king of "230". It solves everything.

    This is, once again, incorrect. What I have said -- quite clearly -- is that Section 230 makes sure that liability is PROPERLY ASSIGNED. I have never said that it absolve all liability. It only absolve liability for things that the service provide did not do. I think everyone would agree that this makes sense. You should never put liability on parties who did not do the actions.

    And, I have actually pointed out in the past that I do have a serious complaint with section 230: it shouldn't be necessary at all. It should just be common sense that you don't blame the tool for the actions of users.

    But you are simply wrong in your statement that I claim section 230 where it is not apt. I have not done so.

    I understand you. You work the grey area, you work the slant. You rarely state your full opinion, you always leave yourself a little weasel room, a little space to step back, and a little space to shift yourself to get out of the way. One of the reasons Ipost here is because there is so much wrong and misleading in what you post, that someone needs to make everyone think about the other side, even if it is just for a second.

    This is not true at all. My opinion is clear and I stand behind it. The problem is you think the world is black and white when there are actual areas of nuance. I assume that you are smart enough to understand that, so I do not understand why you wish to paint everything black or white.

    There may be things "wrong" with what I post, but I have yet to see you point out a single one. Instead, you constantly misstate what I said and pretend that I said something other than I did.

    Then when I explain why you are wrong, as usual, you claim "weasel words!" It's really a shame that someone who has obvious intelligence such as yourself appears to get off on purposely misstating what people say. It's really kind of pathetic. I recognize that it's troll 101, but one day, perhaps, you'll grow out of that phase of life and realize that there are better things in life than being the village idiot.

    The NY Times article is perfect - the headline suggests something that isn't at all in the story. I know you wish it was in the story, but it isn't in the story. I understand that, I wish you could be a man and admit that you wrote a biased headline.

    Heh. This is an opinion site. I state my opinion. I love it when people call an opinion "biased." But you are wrong -- again. As I already pointed out to you, the headline of my post on the NY Times piece was entirely accurate. It highlighted how Nokia had focused on using patents only after its business went downhill. It shown, perfectly clearly, that Nokia's patent strategy had nothing to do with innovation, and everything to do with trying to harm competitors.

    Your inability to comprehend this basic concept is so ridiculous that it's clear you aren't serious about it.

    You get all up at me about what I post, but it's your site, your words that start each discussion, and yet you still feel the need to mislead people, either by suggesting something that is not true, by drawing conclusions that are not evident, or ignoring facts or information that doesn't support your views.

    Alex, I do not get "upset" at what you post. I only find it sad that you get so much wrong, so often, and when we call you on it, you lash out like a toddler caught with his hands in the cookie jar.

    I do not ignore facts that do not support my views. I am always happy to discuss them.

    I do not mind that you post here. What I do mind is you purposely misstating my position.

    So, now, Merry Christmas, and consider the idea of actually accepting that you too are capable of errors. I accept that every day, and that makes me a better person for it. Are you willing to try?

    Ha! Of course I'm capable of errors. I make them all the time, and I am more than willing to correct my errors when I do. That's why I have this site after all. I expect people to call me on my errors.

    The problem is that you have never done so. What you do is purposely misstate what I have written, get the very basic facts wrong, and then lash out when I point this out to you.

    And it's a laugh that you claim that you "accept that every day." You clearly do not. I caught you in a series of blatant falsehoods recently, and rather than apologize, you have lashed out and attacked me even more. One day you will grow up. One hopes it is soon, because going through life acting purposely ignorant is a sad life indeed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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