Patterico's Pontifications

4/2/2010

McClatchy Author Makes News, or is That Makes Up News?

Filed under: Media Bias,Politics — DRJ @ 7:34 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Jack Cashill at the American Thinker looks at the timeline regarding the racial smear of the Tea Party protesters at the Capitol on March 20th:

“I checked with my source on the scene, Greg Farrell, to get a timeline on the passage of the Black Caucus members from the Cannon Building to the Capitol and back. According to Farrell, they left the Cannon Building about 2:30 PM on March 20th and returned about 3:15 PM. He had no reason to exaggerate.

I asked because at 4:51 that same day, McClatchy reporter William Douglas posted an article on the McClatchy website with the inflammatory headline, “Tea party protesters scream ‘nigger’ at black congressman.”

In other words, Douglas, with an attributed assist from James Rosen, managed to interview representatives John Lewis, Emanuel Cleaver, and Barney Frank, compose an 800-word article, and have it edited and formatted for posting within a 90-minute window.

During that same 90 minutes, Douglas would have received and incorporated a press release from Emanuel Cleaver, making the easily disproved claim that he had “been spat upon and that Capitol Police had arrested his assailant.”

Cashill concludes that Douglas either started writing the article in advance or he made it up, and thinks “heads should roll” at McClatchy. Given recent events, McClatchy will probably respond by decrying Cashill’s violent rhetoric.

— DRJ

52 Responses to “McClatchy Author Makes News, or is That Makes Up News?”

  1. Good luck finding anyone in the company that doubts the story or has a problem if Cashill really did this.

    Of course the same can probably be said for any newsroom in the U.S. outside of the WSJ editorial staff.

    MU789 (d20b17)

  2. Ironically, Weasel Zippers reported today that Cleaver denies he every made any comment about the N-word being said.

    “I never, I never reported anything, never a single thing in Washington, not one thing. People assume I went somewhere, never done press conference, never done an interview on it and I’m not going to do it.”

    But then he pointed out to readers that Cleaver indeed make the claim,

    Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s office released the following statement: For many of the members of the CBC, like John Lewis and Emanuel Cleaver who worked in the civil rights movement, and for Mr. Frank who has struggled in the cause of equality, this is not the first time they have been spit on during turbulent times.

    This afternoon, the Congressman was walking into the Capitol to vote, when one protester spat on him. The Congressman would like to thank the US Capitol Police officer who quickly escorted the others Members and him into the Capitol, and defused the tense situation with professionalism and care. After all the Members were safe, a full report was taken and the matter was handled by the US Capitol Police. The man who spat on the Congressman was arrested, but the Congressman has chosen not to press charges. He has left the matter with the Capitol Police.

    So I’m with Cashill on this. It doesn’t add up, and collusion with a liberal press and liberal politicians is what we’ve come to expect. Sadly.

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  3. If those guys heard anything it was probably Rep. Hank Johnson (Democrat, Atlantis) talking to himself.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  4. I think this falls under the parameters of “Chinatown”.

    AD - RtR/OS! (8b509d)

  5. The liar Al Sharpton stated categorically on O’Reilly that he had seen tape of the incident. Then immediately backed down when challenged. BO did not make him squirm enough IMHO. Mind you, I blame BO for elevating the status of that race-baiter by continually inviting him on his show to demonstrate how “fair and balanced’ Bill is…

    gazzer (87d7c3)

  6. The liar Al Sharpton stated categorically on O’Reilly that he had seen tape of the incident.

    Wait, are you saying Shrpton is deliberately playing the race card? Because whenever I see him the news shows treat him like he’s Ghandi.

    It’s like they’ve never heard of Tawana Brawley.

    MU789 (d20b17)

  7. I saw Breibart interviewed tonight about the Tea Party ruckus last week. Police arrived allegedly because they were called and told that Breitbart’s gang was throwing eggs. Breitbart stated that would seem odd as his car was one that had eggs on it. The police were apparently going to make an issue of it since the reports they received claimed it was the Breitbart and Tea Party gang. Breitbart informed the police he had video of who was throwing the eggs, which would also be evidence of filing a false police report. The police then drove away refusing to do further investigation.

    I’m assuming there is the technology and those smart enough to use it to determine when an audio/video clip has been dubbed over, or remastered, or whatever; because I bet that if there was a way it could have been done, there would have been a clip “proving” that someone had used the n-word at the Capital episode.

    Not telling fibs was something we were supposed to learn in kindergarten. Now tell me who isn’t educated?

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  8. The problem is that they have been OVER-educated.

    In another time or place, they would be selected for RE-education.

    AD - RtR/OS! (8b509d)

  9. Or Freddie’s Fashionmart, or flacking for the Duke faculty, yet there is virtually no conservative
    show from Beck to Hannity to Huckabee that doesn’t
    do the right thing and tell him no, you’re a cretinous and irresponsible liar

    ian cormac (349188)

  10. The Democrats had to engage in brazen fraud to justify the health care reform bill, now they are engaging in fraud to attack those opposition to the same bill.

    Notice the constant.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  11. I am sorry to have to disagree but a reporter can crank out a liberally biased story in a relatively short period of time. I bet they spend less than five minutes on each double-spaced page.

    Their heads are totally programed to write their made-up crap without much thought to it.

    Alta Bob (e8af2b)

  12. […] Diaries: Hollywood Liberals Say “Proof is For Fruitcakes!” Patterico’s Pontifications: McClatchy Author Makes News, or is That Makes Up News? and What’s in the Bill, Senator? and Killing the American Economy Nice Deb: Mark Levin Shreds […]

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  13. a reporter can crank out a liberally biased story in a relatively short period of time.
    On reading Cashill’s piece, my take is that he prefers the alternative, that the piece was published with reckless indifference to the facts.
    The “spit on ” and “shouted nigger” stories go beyond liberal bias. They are outright fabrications. AP does this too. A substantial fraction of what is passed off as true fact is pure fiction.

    cboldt (60ea4a)

  14. With respect to the media blindly buying into “teh narrative”, in case any of you have not seen Breitbart’s piece on fighting Alinsky with Alinsky–here it is:

    http://bigjournalism.com/abreitbart/2010/04/02/barack-obamas-helter-skelter-insane-clown-posse-alinsky-planes-to-deconstruct-america/

    elissa (e23c47)

  15. Much of an article can be written in advance. A lot of the background won’t change. But not just background. Let’s say in advance of the day, you could write a line like “Michelle Bachman addressed a Tea Party protest in the Capitol today.” And then make sure to include a line from her speech that gets mailed out, or remove that sentence if she doesn’t make it. As you’re finishing up the article, you can incorporate later releases, such as the one from Cleaver. This may be hard for American Thinker to grasp.

    imdw (b75942)

  16. modern Journalism, runs the problem of what was coined as Laphamization, specially when it comes to conservatives. You have so much contempt for the subject that you impute things that have not (or may never) happen. When you cover Obama, one runs into the opposite problem, one often can’t believe
    what you just heard, because it has scarce relation to his previous statements, reality, or historical precedent

    ian cormac (349188)

  17. imdw:

    How much of the article coould have been written in advance?

    max (383bf5)

  18. This may be hard for you to grasp, imdw, but what you conveniently refer to as “later releases” (from Cleaver), is typically referred to as a lie.

    You amusingly assume that American Thinker has issues grasping your points of how to churn out an article, but does it occur to you that the disparity between you and AT is quite possibly because your standards for the craftsmanship of good writing are rather low and that American Thinkers standards are that high?

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  19. I have found that contacting Investor relations usually gives better results. You don’t need to be an investor in McClatchy (their stock is down 90% in 3 years, so I hope you’re not) to contact them:
    McClatchy Investor Relations:
    elintecum@mcclatchy.com

    Write a reasonable letter like: Just wondering what fact checking was used” or “I’m concerned this story may be fabricated – what is McClatchy doing to ensure their reporting is accurate?”

    Just like in real life, the grown ups are the ones with money, and at the end of the day money speaks.

    nomailforjeff (1328b4)

  20. > McClatchy Author Makes News, or is That Makes Up News?

    This IS the LeftMedia we’re talking about, correct?

    It’s pretty clear that they’ve been making it up for nigh on 20-plus years, if not for a lot longer than that…

    IgotBupkis (79d71d)

  21. “How much of the article coould have been written in advance?”

    There’s at least three paragraphs of background, and all of the Frank stuff seems sourced to the boston globe and huffpo.

    imdw (842182)

  22. Just remember: imdw MUSTDefend the D,” no matter what. It doesn’t take thought. Nor does it take consistency.

    And the interesting question is: why does he or she continue to post? Something to ponder.

    Eric Blair (ea0564)

  23. nomailforjeff:

    Done. A polite letter telling them that, if the quality of their reporting remains at “Pravda” level, there will not be a tear shed for their passing.

    IgotBupkis (79d71d)

  24. Ever since McClatchy Watch took a hiatus, they have become more brazen then ever

    ian cormac (349188)

  25. –imdw MUST “Defend the D,” no matter what–

    Eric, this is why I continue to believe that imdw is a mere “paid” troll sent here from an agenda organization. If a person wanted to be taken seriously in a somewhat alien blog community and be a part of a meaningful two way discussion, they would usually seek to find at least some common ground once in a while with the other commenters. They would theoretically have a noticeably consistent thought process (however misguided). They would occasionally find something they could agree with or state that they have heard something new or interesting from the other side that they will at least consider. imdw never does that. Ever. Engaging him/ her in “debate” is really a waste of time and life is too short.

    elissa (e23c47)

  26. “If those guys heard anything it was probably Rep. Hank Johnson (Democrat, Atlantis) talking to himself.”

    Comment by daleyrocks

    Democrat – Mars is more like it, DR, lol.

    I’m with you on post #5, gazzer. Al Sharpton is one of the most heinous gasbags ever, and O’Reilly does all Americans a grave disservice by giving him a platform. Just one of a number of reasons why I think the self-worshiping Bill O. oughtta hang it up.

    [note: fished from spam filter. –Stashiu]

    GeneralMalaise (556297)

  27. Speaking of gasbags, I give you Rear Admiral Bahney Fwank.

    GeneralMalaise (556297)

  28. A polite letter telling them that, if the quality of their reporting remains at “Pravda” level, there will not be a tear shed for their passing.

    Comment by IgotBupkis

    At least the Pravda editors and writers had a good reason to be biased, if they did otherwise they might have been shot.
    Here in the US, no such excuse.

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  29. Boston Globe said “Coakley by 30.” PuffHo is a liberal-agenda blog. Using those sources for anything is barely better than using Kos, wiki, 911twoof.

    John Hitchcock (2ba544)

  30. Their heads are totally programed to write their made-up crap without much thought to it.

    They’ve got macros from Center for American Progress that greatly speed up the “reporting”.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (9eb641)

  31. “Ever since McClatchy Watch took a hiatus, they have become more brazen then ever”

    Wasn’t McClathy one of the few orgs that got it right on the WMDs? Man it’s been so long since I had iraq war fever it’s hard to remember.

    “Boston Globe said “Coakley by 30.” PuffHo is a liberal-agenda blog. Using those sources for anything is barely better than using Kos, wiki, 911twoof.”

    So were they wrong about the incident with Frank?

    imdw (11a541)

  32. Elissa, imdw gives it away for free. That’s the amazing part.

    Eric Blair (cea1fa)

  33. The correct response whenever Al Sharpton dares to go on TV to whine about “racism” would be for the TV host to shout every time: “But Al, you are the liar that faked a racist incident, and incited a race riot that resulted in people being murdered. You should be in jail for that.”

    SPQR (26be8b)

  34. “…I give you Rear Admiral Bahney Fwank.”
    Comment by GeneralMalaise — 4/3/2010 @ 10:27 am

    Is that “lower” or “upper” half?

    “…Elissa, imdw gives it away for free. That’s the amazing part.”
    Comment by Eric Blair — 4/3/2010 @ 11:20 am

    So, it’s only a slut, and not a whore.

    AD - RtR/OS! (9b3f49)

  35. Interesting take from Mark Steyn…

    ‘On March 20th, something truly extraordinary happened. On the eve of the health care vote, a group of black Democrat Congressmen (eschewing the private tunnels they usually use to cross from their offices to the Capitol) chose to walk en masse through a crowd of protesters, confident that the knuckle-dragging Tea Party goons they and their media pals have reviled for a year now would respond with racial epithets.

    And then, when the crowd didn’t, the black Congressmen made it up anyway. Representative Andre Carson (Democrat, Indiana) insisted he heard the N-word 15 times. He’s either suffering from the same condition as that Guam-flipper from Georgia, or he’s a liar. At a scene packed not only with crews from the Dem poodle media but with a gazillion cellphone cameras, not one single N-word has been caught on audio.

    I disagree with John Lewis (Democrat, Georgia) politically but I have always respected him as a genuine civil rights warrior. And I feel slightly queasy at the thought that he would dishonor both the movement and his own part in it for the cheapest of partisan points – in the same way I would be disgusted by a Holocaust survivor painting a swastika on his own door and blaming it on his next-door neighbor over a boundary dispute.

    But that’s what the Democratic Party has been reduced to – faking hate crimes as pathetically as any lonely, mentally ill college student. Congressmen Carson, Lewis, Cleaver and the rest have turned themselves into the Congressional equivalent of the Duke University stripper. Except that they’re not some penniless loser but a group of important, influential lifetime legislators enjoying all the privileges and perquisites of power, and in all probability acting at the behest of the Democrat leadership.

    Isn’t that what societies with functioning media used to call “a story”?’

    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=Mjg1NTI4M2VkZmNjZWNmZWJjOWVjMWNkNGExOWRjMWI=

    GeneralMalaise (556297)

  36. “Wasn’t McClathy one of the few orgs that got it right on the WMDs?”

    imdw – What does getting it right on WMD’s mean? Are you suggesting that McClatchy had sources inside Saddam’s inner circles? That would not surprise me.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  37. CNN did.

    AD - RtR/OS! (9b3f49)

  38. “imdw – What does getting it right on WMD’s mean? Are you suggesting that McClatchy had sources inside Saddam’s inner circles? That would not surprise me.”

    Turns out their secret was they had sources in American circles:

    http://www.ojr.org/ojr/people/robert/200806/1513/

    “So what happened in the pre-war reporting, for example, is that folks like Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay and John Walcott, they were talking to the rank-and-file folks at the respective agencies, the folks who actually did the work; the folks who were actually preparing the reports and reviewing the intelligence. They weren’t talking to the political hacks at the highest level. Those folks were telling them, giving them a different picture than was being fed to the national outlets. By virtue of having to do their reporting at the grassroots level, they weren’t getting the sanitized picture that other folks were getting. That made a big difference. We were consistently saying that there were no weapons of mass destruction, and the intelligence was saying that there were no weapons of mass destruction. But yet our competitors were saying breathlessly, taking the administration line, that there were. It’s a matter of perspective; who were you talking to.”

    imdw (597e10)

  39. “…It’s a matter of perspective; who were you talking to.”

    That explains why every other Western intelligence agency thought that the odds were greater than not that Saddam had WMD’s… oh… wait…

    GeneralMalaise (556297)

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  42. Also Saddam’s on generals later testified that they thought that he had the WMD’s. Sadly the the tool + troll=TROOL thinks that he and some insignificant little piece of crap bird liner know better than every other intelligence agency in the whole freakin’ world. Keep on spoutin’ TROOL, Capt. Ahab will spot you easily with all that crap spewin’ from your iggerant blowhole, and place a harpoon in it.

    peedoffamerican (3ab0c7)

  43. on=own generals

    peedoffamerican (3ab0c7)

  44. “It’s a matter of perspective; who were you talking to.”

    imdw – Did all the people doing the work change between the Clinton Administration, when he was insisting Saddam had WMD, and the Bush Administration or did we just get new political hacks?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  45. imdw:

    right so 3 paragraphs, I’ll be generous and count them as 135 words, that is one sixth of the article could have been written beforehand.

    also note that the sources for Rep. Frank were a HuffPo writer and presumably a B.Globe reporter (their stories were published after Douglas’, five minutes later for the HuffPo and the next day for the B.Globe) so some time must have been spent talking to those people to get the information from them, if not from Rep. Frank himself.

    Mind you I don’t actually think that Douglas deliberately did bad reporting. The impression I got, especially from reading his account of how he wrote the story (I already linked to the McClatchy site, it is there) is that Douglas wrote a report based on what someone told him someone else heard someone else say they saw. reasonable for a twitter post, reasonable for a blog post with the disclaimer that it is third hand at best, but not reasonable from a professional journalist writing an actual news story. But too big a story for Douglas not to want to be first with, and who would expect anyone to lie about something so public?

    max (383bf5)

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    sharp aquos 32 (358024)


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