Journalistic Ethics Traded in for Page Views

So here’s what happened this week in #OWS land. And what kept us on the PR Team in a whirlwind for about 36 hours straight.

  • We were dragged through the mud by some unnamed source which lead to the words “Occupy” and “Murder” being linked in countless headlines around the world.
  • Channel 4 broke it (the reporter apparently has lots of police ties) and NYT covered it (the reporter worked in the investigations beat–nypd ties too.) Huh.
  • Dozens of outlets covered the story, many of them acknowledged the extremely tenuous link of the alleged shared DNA between a piece of evidence of an unsolved murder case and a chain used at an “Occupy” action in March of this year (actually an autonomously organized action.)
  • 2 agencies under Bloomberg then basically said “don’t look at us” and tried to wash their hands of it. Interesting…
  • Some lab lacky was scape-goated. Hope he didn’t lose his job.
  • The poor parents of Sarah Fox have now had her name, photo and reminder of her killing strewn the media for the second time in 2 months.
  • The retraction came out from NYT and yet the damage was done. No one gets to be held accountable. We just get to eat the media-shit-taco handed to us. Yum!
  • None of this takes us any closer to prosecuting/investigating Wall Street. 
  • All of this also proves that folks are still ready to cover and eat up stories about OWS–they just have to be something else besides what we’ve been doing. Food for thought.
  • The NYT should know better (not because they are some liberal bastion of news–which they are not, but because their reporting is generally more thorough), the rest should just be ashamed for such wishy-washy reporting; HOWEVER with the 24 hr cycle and the clamoring for page views, surely being the fine line between employment and not for some journos, I believe that at the end of the day no one really won anything. Everyone has a black eye.
  • Oh and that no one questioned the fact that a chain holding open a door in a NYC subway for hours would have only 1 person’s DNA on it is absurd, IMHO.

FAIR gives a great analysis. As always.