Monday, September 26, 2011

Professional Journalist

The local newspaper runs a news article about me. A most inaccurate & unfair article. The entire article is fabricated subjective assumptions and is bristling with lies. It is very surprising that the newspaper printed it.

The article seems vaguely familiar.

Then recognition dawns! It is almost word for word a transcript of what Mr. Motelier was spitting at my doorman early that morning.

It transpired that Mr. Motelier had lurched drunkenly home, taken two-finger aim in the general direction of the keyboard, and put what he had been saying into an email, one spattered wiht the spellngi anf puntcuaiton errora of the drunkn typist, then sent it to the "newsroom". (Hick newspapers in yokel towns don't have newsrooms, they have one room of desks, with about 5 open-plan cubicles.)

The senior journalist at the newspaper had printed it word for word. In that same day's edition. And put her own name on the byline.

The 2-i-c and I had a rather unhappy interview with the senior journalist, where she backed herself further into a corner.

None of what she had written (correction: what had been ghostwritten for her by a drunken motel owner) was true, and could easily be demonstrated to be untrue.

Her story unravelled quite easily. Journalists often aren't good debaters, particularly when they are defending a lie. She had written about what happens inside the Wayside Tavern and on Front Street, between 2 and 3 am.

When asked what she thought of the atmosphere inside the Wayside Tavern at that time of morning she (the "journalist" who had put her name & reputation alongside the research & writing of the article) reacted in a most superior manner:
"I'd never go into your grotty pub at that time of night"

And the words came from her own mouth. It was too easy. Getting her to say it wasn't even challenging.


Paco said...

Perhaps one might make a libel case out of this. Of course, the newspaper in question sounds like a rather broken-down affair with little or nothing in the way of liquid assets, so I suppose it would be a hollow victory.

Nonetheless, if the Australian branch of that well-known American law firm - Pariah, Anthrax, Carbuncle and Offal - can be of any service, do not hesitate to call for a free consultation.

Mine Host said...

And I'd always thought that big sign stood for Professional Ambulance Chaser's Office.
(That will teach me to judge people by their actions, & not by their actual registered name)
The newspaper may have assets aplenty, it is (like most) owned by one of the 3 or 4 big international press outfits. (Murdoch, O'Reilly, Black, etc)
A defamation action would be robustly defended, and unlikely to succeed, as the article was very carefully worded. Their journalists may not do any research, but they are not fools.

Paco said...

Oh, I say! I thought it might be the kind of rag owned by the descendants of some earlier small-town blowhard with a printing press. Well, as the saying goes, as long as they spell your name right...