Sunday, April 29, 2007

Duke lacrosse: The Post grades itself

Not surprisingly, they give themselves a better grade than KC Johnson did. That is easy to do when you just ignore some of the most egregious items your paper cranked out.

Their ombudsman does hit on a key issue:
Overall, coverage of the Duke case suffered from a common journalistic malady: dependence on "the authorities"; in this case, prosecutor Michael B. Nifong, who now faces ethics charges. Journalists almost always depend first on the official explanation, whether of police, prosecutors, government spokesmen, the military or "experts." That is journalism's Achilles heel, whether it involves intelligence on Iraqi weapons or a rape charge in Durham.
That is true as far as it goes, but it ignores the fact that one of the Posts columnists went way beyond that. As recounted here Andrew Cohen forcefully attacked those who tried to challenge the official version and did it in a particularly nasty and dishonest fashion.

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