Thursday, October 28, 2010

Message to Springfield News-Leader: Allegations against Long may be murky because of poor reporting

The Springfield News-Leader has every right to endorse any candidate it wishes for Seventh District Congress or any other race. Freedom of the press is one of the foundations upon which this country is biult.

That being said, I was both saddened and amused to read the News-Leader's endorsement of Billy Long in this morning's edition. Not because of the political aspects. If the newspaper's editorial board believes Long has the right stuff to represent this corner of the state in Washington, then by all means it should offer its endorsement.

What was particularly depressing for someone who has spent most of his adult life digging beneath the surface on stories of all kinds, is the News-Leader's assertion that the allegations made against Billy Long's character are "murky."

Perhaps the reason those allegations are still murky is because of the shallow, superficial reporting job done by the newspaper regarding the accusation that Billy Long cavorted with strippers, gambled, and used racist, sexist, and homophobic slurs.

The editorial reads, "We strongly emphasize here that despite recent suggestions Long has acted improperly and boorishly, attacks on his character remain unsubstantiated.
"We also must stress that the attacks were orchestrated or at least encouraged by Long's opponent Scott Eckersley and they were based on flimsy evidence. Therefore, we put those murky allegations aside."
Judging from the page-one article in Sunday's News-Leader, those "murky allegations" were put aside before the reporting began.
Though it is hard to prove a negative, a thorough investigation would likely have made it quite clear whether the allegations against Long had merit. A complete search of documents and a more extensive list of interview subjects might have provided readers with a truer picture of what did or did not happen in the back room of the Metropolitan Grill.
Instead, it appears the reporters had to be told who to interview and relied almost entirely on the Long and Eckersley camps for sources. Old fashioned shoe leather reporting never played a role in this long ((no pun intended), but essentially meaningless story.


Todd/Joplin said...

Editorial endorsements are like closing arguments in a jury trial. The reader (jury) still has the opportunity to make up their own mind. Lazy minds accept the arguments as Gospel, while informed voters may use it as a stepping stone to gather more information, or question the reasoning.

Please don't believe that an endorsement from a newspaper in the end-all to all arguments. Newspapers do not have that much power. Give the reader some credit to make up their own mind.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Mr. Turner .. Anything you say Mr. Turner ... Praise be to thy journalism wisdom Mr. Turner.... may Allah bless you Mr. Turner... the all powerful and wise Mr. Turner..

But, in case you forgot, Mr. Turner, this is America...where freedom still reigns .. in spite of your efforts .. and the American people have awaken

Busplunge said...

I wonder if The Turner Report was one of the "nasty blogs" the SN-L editors mentioned in the endorsement editorial?

I think the paper's coverage of this race was pretty shallow.

Do you want me to tell the truth or do you want me to lie to you?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone except me wondered if Ms Case might be a double agent? Maybe she works for the Long camp and this is a setup. She seemed too quick to change her story without much pressure.

Anonymous said...

"and the American people have awaken[sic]"

yes, I need an awakening because this is a friggin' nightmare.

Randy, just a heads up-when I copied one of your Billy Long posts to the SN-L comments the other day the moderator removed it.


Anonymous said...

8:28 Surely Randy is capable of spreading his own garbage around.. how much do you get paid to carry his luggage or do you do his work for nothing

Anonymous said...

I actually talked to Wes Johnson. In a nutshell he said that in this story everyone they talked to kept to their initial story. Everyone that is but the former employees making the accusations. What you also might not be aware of is most strippers move around a lot and they would have to track down people from an event that happened more than a year ago. On top on that any of the dancers who could go out of state have done so already because of the new restrictions on adult businesses.

Furthermore, none of those making these claims can place Billy at any of these events. The reporting seems murky because the story largely consists of heresay and innuendo.

If bull**** were music Jennifer case would be a 100 piece orchestra.

On top of that, James Clary has vehemently disputed that anything of the like that she alleged occurred when she worked at his restaurant.

Anonymous said...

to 11:03 a.m.
what would you expect clary to say. would you think he would say her story is true and that it happened? where would that put him?
long is dumb but no dummy. he makes sure he has people around him that can handle this kind of stuff.
if he wins, those same people will be making decisions for him. he doesn't have a clue about how to be a good representative.
if he wins, you will be ashamed of yourself for not being more willing to search for the truth.