WND Response, as I heard it from WND

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I just heard the WND response on the WND News Hour regarding the Y2K supplier/bank issue.

Like others (both liberals & NOT), I was concerned about the WorldNetDaily story. There are two previous threads on this forum (linked below), but I wanted to start a "bottom-line" thread with the WND response, since this does not stand-out on previous threads - at least to me.

In short, WND (Joseph Farah) claims that their story is true. After reporting the story, other Y2K suppliers (6 he says) contacted him to confirm the problem of frozen funds. His retractor (see links below) seems to say only that he didn't speak with WorldNetDaily, and he gets along fine with his bank (and I suspect, would like to keep it that way). According to WND, it was not a WND reporter who contacted him (Greg Caton of Lumen Foods), it was a Y2KNewsWire reporter. Strictly speaking, Greg Caton is correct - he never spoke with WND (he spoke with Y2KNewsWire).

Personally, I'm still a WND fan. Your mileage may vary...

Here are the links:

WorldNetDaily Story

Lumen's response

First thread in this forum

Second thread in this forum

-- Anonymous99 (Anonymous99@Anonymous99.xxx), April 15, 1999



Here's the problem: If WND never spoke directly to Greg Caton, the publication should have never quoted him directly as in the following:

"They called me at 8:30 in the morning and said our account had been seized," says Greg Caton, president of Lumen Foods, a food supplier that has shipped over $3 million in orders since last August. "They indicated fraud."

Unless there was an audio or videotape, or unless someone at Y2K Newswire WROTE the story for WND, to quote Caton directly is misleading. WND could have gotten around this by attributing Caton's quotes to named, credible sources.

So here's the question: Was this sloppy reporting, or a fishing expedition? If other suppliers responded after the fact, it may make the GENERAL story true. That still doesn't justify the original error.

Not good.

-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), April 15, 1999.

FM: I fail to see your point.

-- Reporter (reporter_atlarge@hotmail.com), April 15, 1999.


The point is: for a reporter to QUOTE someone he/she hasn't interviewed--without explaining WHERE the quote came from--is at best sloppy reporting, and at worst--deliberate deception.

Where this falls--I'm not sure.

-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), April 15, 1999.

Boy FM, I sure wish everyone would DEMAND the same criteria of CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, TIME, NEWSWEEK and other news sources.

But no. Standards are only demanded of those who have a Conservative ideology or are horning into the mainstream press' market.

Case-in-point: Matt Drudge was lambasted for his reporting, but The Nation and Salon magazines are taken at gospel and never questioned.

No one is questioning CNN's coverage of Kosovo, they take it for face value. But an earlier thread today, and many European news sources contradict their assertments completely.

Investigative journalism is dead. All that the mainstream press needs is pretty faces that read teleprompters.

Look for attacks on sources reporting the truth to increase exponentially.

-- INVAR (gundark@sw.net), April 15, 1999.

FM, my thinking is in line with yours, as illustrated by the foillowing post to a related thread. The only thing I might add is that I've ordered from and corresponded with Greg Caton of Lumen Foods for ten or more years and I believe him to be a thoroughly honorable man.

My problem with the WND report is that it (aparently) attributes false statements to an individual. Robert says the WND spokesperson: "did indicate that he has seen people 'back away' from quotes they have actually said. . . ."

But the person who is alleged to have made statements reported by WND did not "back away" or waffle about statements he is reported to have made. Instead, Greg Caton says the statements are "totally false, unconfirmable, pernicious, and libelous." He goes on to say: "At no time was money in any of our accounts ever touched, as you falsely report. At no time did we ever get a call from our bank, as you falsely report. And at no time were we ever accused of fraud, as you also falsely report." In addition, Greg says: ". . . no one from World Net Daily has ever talked to me-- ever." These are unequivocal statements. There is no mistaking their meaning. This is NOT backing away, like, hey, guys, come on, that's not really what I meant--you quoted me out of context--you misunderstood--what I really meant was. . .. Nope, sorry, Robert, Greg's statements are unambiguous and very clear. I'm sure Greg consulted his attorney before making his statements public. I believe what he says.

For further information on the WND matter, see the Lumen site at soybean.com.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), April 15, 1999.

We need to hold WND to the same standard as any other media outlet. There should be no fake "quotes" (when the source is not primary), no mis-attribution, and most of all, no misleading statements about actions taken or not taken. I would certainly criticize any journalist who "spices up" a story this way.

"What are the facts, and to how many decimal places?"

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), April 15, 1999.

Right on, Old Git.!! I am getting so tired of" he said, you said", posts to this forum and from people who think they know everything and don't know squat! It gets really frustrating trying to sort the truth from fiction on this forum. I don't have to agree with anyone, but quit pulling crap out of the sky and posting it here as if its gospel. That applies to GIs and DGIs. There are some REALLY intelligent, knowlegable people on this forum. And I marvel at the thought processes of some and their ability to ferret out the truth. But lately it seems that for everyone one that has all his/her cups in the cupboard, we are getting two who just want to stir up the forum. And then there is Dieter. I LOVE DIetEr. And sometimes he makes more sense than any of us. At least he makes me laff and that is worth a lot. Old Git contact me email at JHaral2197.aol.com

Got cups....? How about a cupboard???

-- Taz (Tassie@aol.com), April 15, 1999.

Chill out, Invar! If possible. :)

I'm not gonna get into a fight here. Neither should you.

You are absolutely correct that everyone should DEMAND the same criteria of CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, TIME, NEWSWEEK and other news sources.

We should. REALLY. Heck, I'd like to see protests at the Capitol!

But--it will never happen. Why? Because most of the time--at least with regard to broadcast journalism--we don't know when they're wrong. Why not? Because--unlike newspapers--broadcasters generally don't "do" retractions. It has to be a very large and very public gaffe for that to happen. I can't even remember such an instance. Are they ever wrong? Yep. There's an old newsroom joke that goes, "Never let the facts get in the way of a good story." Do reporters try to be right? Sure. Are they--at the same time--pressured to make the story as spicy as possible? ABSOLUTELY. It's been this way ever since broadcasters realized they could make money from their newscasts, thereby elevating them from the realm of "necessary public service" to . . .SHOWTIME!

By way of example, how many people on this forum can remember the days when national and local news contained one or two commercials--if that? And the news was often boring. Yet--"Uncle Walter" was the soul of credibility.

With regard to Matt Drudge, he was eventually vindicated. History will record this. Does that mean I believe everything on his site? No. But neither do I believe everything that is reported ANYWHERE.

Why? One small reason is that I have been interviewed many times and misquoted EVERY time. There are other reasons.

As for investigative journalism being dead,. . .it's not dead, there just aren't many investigative journalists out there. Why not? It takes time (not cost effective you know. . .), it's frustrating, (lots of PR folks out there you know. . .) and sometimes it's BORING.

Is that the way it should be? Nope.

As for attacks on sources reporting the truth, you're absolutely correct. Woodward and Bernstein were not Nixon's best friends. Killing the messenger is a very old practice--and it is non-partisan.

Hope you have a nice day! :)

-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), April 15, 1999.

"Killing the messenger is a very old practice--and it is non-partisan."

As amply instanced last year in CNN's retracting its own story on the use of nerve gas in Laos, and firing April Oliver and Jack Smith, who produced it. This is their account: CNN and the Valley of Death

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), April 15, 1999.

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