“N&R …failed in its mission”?

Wendell Sawyer, over at Guarino’s blog, on the N&R’s past reporting of the David Wray matter…

” …(the) News & Record is the one major player in this controversy that failed in its mission. A daily newspaper has an obligation to its community to provide fair and balanced reporting of the news. Unfortunately, it now appears that the N&R provided its readers with a one-sided slant to the entire David Wray controversy. The evidence against them is clear and convincing. Important facts, not opinions, that Jerry Bledsoe has presented to us regarding the circumstances that surrounded the controversy were simply not reported in the News & Record. This is an inexcusable breach of journalistic ethics.”

I don’t know how they should do it, nor if they will.  But in light of Jerry Bledsoe’s ongoing dismantling of several N&R articles surrounding James Hinson’s suspension and his ex-wife’s allegations of police misconduct and covert surveillance now possibly discredited in the Rhino series, the N&R at least owes its readership an explanation or defense of their reporting.

All of the N&R’s coverage on this issue can be found here.

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18 Comments

  1. John D. Young
    Posted November 26, 2006 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I think Wendell Sawyer’s remarks deserve a response from the N&R.

    So far we have Jerry Bledsoe doing most of the heavy lifting. Jordan Green and YES Weekly are helping the public discussion as noted in your comments below. The silence from the N&R remains conspicuous and disconcerting.

    We really need everyone fully engaged to sort through this mess. At this point no one should be content to just sit on the sidelines.

  2. The CA
    Posted November 26, 2006 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Welcome aboard, Hoggard. JR and Co. have been telling me for over a year that I was wrong to accuse them of being obsessed with race and for not being fair to Wray. I said two weeks ago that it was all coming home now.

    They won’t apologize. They have yet to even comment on the discrepancy between their reporting and what Bledsoe has been reporting. They started with a racial thesis (and may have even planted the story from the beginning) and then built the story around that. For some reason, they take pride in “uncovering” racism in Greensboro- even when it doesn’t exist.

    I’m telling you, they aren’t writing stories for local readers- they are writing stories that they hope will gain them favor with the liberal northeast media. Playing into the stereotype of the South as racist and being the one beacon of light exposing this truth is why this story happened in the first place. It is about how other people in different parts of the country view their paper, not about how Wendell or anyone around here does.

    They will remain silent on this and just hope that it will go away. They opened this thing up, now they want to hide because they have been source checked and the truth has revealed what they put out there to be demonstrably false. They chose to believe or have the reader believe the race angle because that is what they wanted. This is no different than the Dan Rather/National Guard story.

  3. Posted November 26, 2006 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Your “northeast media” meme is just stupid Sam. And one of the reasons I have been reticent to criticize the N&R is because I didn’t want to encourage your “me against the world” mentality.

    I think the N&R has been challenged – legitimately challenged – because others have disputed Beverly Hinson’s story – on the record.

    I don’t think the N&R owes anyone an apology and didn’t metion that in my post I do, however, think they could bring their considerable resources to bear on the truth of thse matters and clear some things up if they were inclined to do so.

    If these revelations had been brought up by anyone other than Jerry Bledsoe, I am confident they would be all over it. But, there are personalities and personal histories at play here that do not serve us very well.

    But please… don’t think YOU have won me over to ‘your side’ or anything like it. I have a mind of my own and it is telling me that Bledsoe is not the sole repository of truth in all of this any more than the N&R is infallable.

  4. Wendell Sawyer
    Posted November 27, 2006 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    David & John:

    I agree. I think that the News & Record should respond in light of the facts that have been reported by Jerry Bledsoe. For example, the response from Art League and the accompanying details regarding the alleged covert surveillance of Ms. Hinson that were reported in the most recent Bledsoe installment in The Rhino Times.

    The news stories that were published at the time regarding this allegation in the News & Record may have influenced Mitch Johnson’s judgment about David Wray. For example, the News & Record published the following excerpt on January 15, 2006:

    “At Wray’s news conference, the chief said he had thoroughly investigated Beverly Hinson’s allegation, and that it was “classified as unfounded.”

    “But last week, Johnson said his investigators cast doubt on the veracity of Wray’s finding, saying it was “irregular” and that Wray had ordered it wrapped up in time for his news conference.”

    Until we know more facts regarding this controversy, we don’t really know enough to make a final conclusion. However, I think that we can all agree that we know more about this episode because of the facts, not opinions that Bledsoe has provided to us. Hopefully, we can reserve judgment until Bledsoe completes his final installment.

  5. Posted November 27, 2006 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry but I think we’re playing a little fast and loose with the word “fact.”

    “However, I think that we can all agree that we know more about this episode because of the facts, not opinions that Bledsoe has provided to us.”

    What sort of INDEPENDENT corroboration has supported these “facts” that gives them any veracity?

    “Hopefully, we can reserve judgment until Bledsoe completes his final installment.”

    I think we’ve already passed that point.

  6. The CA
    Posted November 27, 2006 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    God forbid you come over to “my side” as you claim- especially after all the self righteous talk about a month ago attacking me (falsley, I might add) for putting everyone on a side. The last thing you would want is to be on my side. You won’t get invited to the really cool parties anymore.

    Sorry, Dave, but I have been on the N&R about their coverage of this story way before most other people. Go check their archives. You don’t have to buy the NE media angle. I don’t have any problem with that. But the fact is the N&R had an agenda, they have an obsession with all things racial, and maybe you should ask yourself why.

    You are drinking way too much Kool Aid. They don’t want to clear things up because it only makes them look bad. This isn’t a conspiracy theory, it’s common sense. You are either going to be a great politician because you won’t offend anyone or you’re just plain naive.

    Finally, I don’t have a “me against the world” mentality. Just a “me against people who deny who they are and what they stand for and try to make me look like the extremist because I don’t agree with them” mentality. You need a broader circle of friends. You guys do all sound alike and you have the same position on nearly everything. Don’t get on my case for pointing it out or try to label me an extremist for not agreeing with you. I’m probably quite a bit more mainstream than most of you guys- you just don’t like my approach.

  7. Jeffrey Sykes
    Posted November 27, 2006 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Having also been astounded at the broadside volley launched by GNR at David Wray from the first “black ops on black cop” salvo, I can testify that Sam has been the most vocal critic of GNR since that first column.

    In reading Bledsoe’s last two articles, I was amazed that his summary of Wray’s reaction to Lorraine’s first story was very similar to my reaction, only more intense. It was and still is unbelievable.

    Adding to John, Lorraine and Eric’s lack of objectivity on this story, in my view, is the fact that they will not respond, or allow their reporters to respond, to Bledsoe’s articles or requests for interviews, when John Robinson knows it is standard GNR practice to badger newsroom employees of competing media for comment even after they have been told it is against the competitor’s policy to allow staff to be interviewed by competing media.

    Now GNR staff are the news and their silence speaks volumes.

    Transparency demands that Lorraine and Eric rebut or correct Bledsoe’s revelations point by point.

  8. The CA
    Posted November 27, 2006 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Jeffrey, you don’t understand. It’s okay for anyone else to ask that the GNR be held accountable- just not me. I’m just on the wrong side of ideology, therefore nothing I say can be considered valid.

    I expected more of David, but I guess he was getting too much flack for being too civil to me.

  9. Posted November 28, 2006 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    No, Sam. It is okay by me for you to ask that the GNR be held accountable and you say some very valid things. I didn’t mean to bring out any sort of inferiority complex.

    However, your last comment seems to indicate just the opposite.

    Amazing as it may seem, no one has ever brought up you, your comments, or my level of civility that I do or don’t extend to you. Not even a passing mention. I sincerely hope that fact doesn’t damage your opinion of yourself.

    I just had a bad, knee-jerk reaction when you crowed, “Welcome aboard, Hoggard”… as if there is a side to be taken here and I had somehow crossed over to yours.

    Your “approach” makes it very difficult for me to agree with you – even when I do. I know you will whine “double-standard”, but that’s really not it. Not at all. You come across – at least online – as a very unlikable fellow with a demeanor akin to that of a Rottweiler.

    I don’t choose to associate with such personalities in real life and try to distance myself from them online as well.

    I truly don’t expect you to get what I said above, Sam, and that’s OK… I’ve owned Rottweilers most of my adult life and realize that they don’t understand nuance and social grace very well.

    We need to meet in person some time so I can dispel my accumulated online perceptions of you. I’ll bring my Rotty to compare and contrast. ;)

  10. Posted November 28, 2006 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Spagnola: I don’t have a “me against the world� mentality.

    Followed by:

    “You guys… You guys…”

  11. Posted November 28, 2006 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    And to the issue, Jeffrey’s observations are pertinent.

  12. Posted November 28, 2006 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    You come across – at least online – as a very unlikable fellow with a demeanor akin to that of a Rottweiler.

    I don’t choose to associate with such personalities in real life and try to distance myself from them online as well.
    — David

    What about Frank and Naughty?

  13. The CA
    Posted November 28, 2006 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    So let me get this straight, Roch. Because I criticize “you guys”, I have a “me against the world” mentality? That’s pretty presumptuous of you to think that “you guys” symbolize the whole world. It certainly sounds to me like you are claiming that what “you guys” think is representative of the whole world, and by being critical of “you guys”, I am up against the “whole world”.

    Quite the opposite, Roch. There are plenty of people (probably the majority) who don’t generally agree with “you guys” and the funny thing is that they never seem to think that I am posing myself as being “against the whole world”. You are spending too much time in cyberspace, my friend, and your observation of what constitutes the “whole world” is becoming warped. It’s not me against the whole world, just “you guys” when you all fall in together in lockstep. You only proved your inability to separate your thinking from the “pack” by jumping in here yet again, always taking the opposite side of what I say.

    What bothered me about Hoggard’s comments is that he tried to make this about me. I mentioned something about the N&R role in the Wray affair and rather than respond to what I say, I get attacked personally. Then you (Roch) jump right in to heap it on more. And yet, so many of YOU accuse me of being too personal and get upset when I point out the very tactic you just displayed. I don’t make it about me- you do. That’s why the debate goes downhill because as soon as you make it about me, I will turn it around and make it equally about you. If you want to keep it above board, try responding to the issues instead of attacking me. I can take it for sure, but don’t get pissed and whiny and self-righteous when I give it back. I told “you guys” that I wouldn’t play that way, and I won’t.

    You hardly represent the whole world, and I do quite fine socially (in fact, probably better than average) thank you very much. Even my liberal friends like me quite a bit. Maybe that’s because they don’t insult me and then cry about it when I dish it back.

  14. The CA
    Posted November 28, 2006 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Hoggard, thanks for the clarification and your willingness to admit you got a little testy. So did I. I have little problem with social graces- quite the opposite. You’re just not used to it yet. I’ve had a bitter tongue for as long as I can remember, but unlike your Rotties, my bark is bigger than my bite. This notion of me sitting here spewing venom day after day pissed at the whole world is largely a creation of others that bears little resemblence to reality. It’s always the same people here making the accusation, while many others are quite supportive. We see what we want to see.

  15. Posted November 29, 2006 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    So let me get this straight, Roch. Because I criticize “you guys�, I have a “me against the world� mentality?

    No, and it would be awfully damn helpful if you’d quit misrepresenting what people write. I simply noted that, in your defense of not having a you-against-them mentality, you resorted to deriding the broad “you guys.” That simply speaks for itself.

    always taking the opposite side of what I say.

    Another inaccurate assessment. You are aware there I have agreed with you at times: by private email on the legal implications of the release of the RMA report and on your blog about you being blocked from commenting on Lex’s site (two that come readily to mind). So do us both a favor and quit with the sweeping generalizations. They diminish you and are insulting to the people you try to pigeonhole.

    One more thing, your idea of what constitutes a personal attack is juvenile. When someone challenges the construct of your arguments or notes self-contradictions, that is not a personal attack. Saying you are a moron or that you are a baby, those would be personal attacks; observing a lack of critical self-awareness and logic flaws are not personal attacks, they are comments on your style and process.

  16. The CA
    Posted November 29, 2006 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Maybe you wouldn’t be misrepresented if you were more clear. I still don’t think it was a misrepresentation because even your explanation seems to support what I said.

    Hoggard said “Your “northeast mediaâ€? meme is just stupid Sam. And one of the reasons I have been reticent to criticize the N&R is because I didn’t want to encourage your “me against the worldâ€? mentality.” So tell me, what part of that is not a personal attack? Tell what part is a challenge to the construct of my argument or a self contradiction? I don’t need your approval, nor will I change my methods to please you or anyone else. My style and process serve me quite well. Sorry you can’t keep up.

  17. Posted November 30, 2006 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Got a gripe with something Hoggard wrote? Take it up with him. It was your accusation that I had personally attacked you that I was refuting. If you want to insist that I personally attacked you, use my words, not Hoggards.

  18. Posted November 30, 2006 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    “You come across – at least online – as a very unlikable fellow with a demeanor akin to that of a Rottweiler.”

    Gee whiz, I’m crushed!

    You only called ME unpleasant!

    Can I get the Rottweiler label placed on me too?

    I promise to do the best to live up to your expectations.