January 26, 2008
Bean's narrative, though, contained an interesting factual error: It stated that there had been three nooses, not two, hung from the tree at Jena High School. The error was not material, and the truth did not exonerate the perpetrators (one noose would have been too many), but to an observer examining the numerous stories about the Jena Six that flooded newspapers, radio, television, and blogs, the three nooses, which appear again and again, are a kind of journalistic dye-marker signaling a tendency on the part of the reporters to rely on Bean's narrative, his handpicked sources, and the reporting of Witt--whose frequent stories appeared nationwide in Tribune Co.-owned papers like the Los Angeles Times--instead of doing their own legwork by consulting court records and other documents, or even the Alexandria Town Talk, which accurately reported the number of nooses from the very beginning.
Some guy makes a bunch of "facts" up, and the news sources copy and disseminate it. Good heavens, are they even trustworthy at all?
And remember this the next time you read a report out of Iraq. If journalists don't even bother to interview someone in Jena to get the real story, how much of what we hear from Iraq is verified?
January 22, 2008
The article just got published. So much for happy endings.
It's pretty surreal to see your happiness immortalized in a magazine after everything has gone to crap.
I've had a couple of people suggest that I try to get paid to write for a publication, but this is a prime example of why I don't have much interest in such endeavors. Talk about old media; so much has happened in the three months it took for the article to go to print that the story isn't even remotely accurate anymore.
So I'll keep writing my drivel here for free.
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