Lying and Stonewalling at Florida Today

Earlier this week, I put up a long post at From The Bleachers, my football blog, regarding a column by Florida Today columnist Peter Kerasotis (heypeterk@aol.com). You can read the details here, but in brief, I spotted a flat-out lie on Kerasotis’s part and pointed out clear photographic evidence to that effect.

Since then, something in the neighborhood of 5,000 people have read my post. Kerasotis himself replied with a beyond-lame excuse (which I appended to my original post), and has since stopped responding to emails asking for a retraction. Florida Today executive editor Terry Eberle (teberle@brevard.gannett.com) and sports editor Ralph Routon (rrouton@brevard.gannett.com) have also failed to respond to requests for a retraction.

I’m bringing the subject over here to VodkaPundit because it’s no longer about football. It’s about integrity and responsiveness in the mainstream media. As I said in an email to Routon, as a columnist, Kerasotis is certainly entitled to his opinions about the football game, but he isn’t entitled to his own facts. Kerasotis alleged in print that a dangerous incident occurred after the game, when no such thing ever happened.

Three days after Kerasotis’s fiction was clearly pointed out to him and his editors, no retraction, correction, or apology has run, and all of the above are refusing to respond to readers. Why not? Since when are people who work for newspapers suddenly higher beings who don’t have to live up to basic standards of truth?

Stonewalling is awful in a politician, but we expect politicians to lie to us. So what does it say about the MSM when a newspaper does the same thing?

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10 Responses to “Lying and Stonewalling at Florida Today”

  1. Richard Says:

    You’d also think that the reporters would be knowledgeable about the subject. Pete’s reply to your letter “Auburn couldn’t have tried a PAT even if it wanted to” struck me as odd. So I went to the NCAA rule book 2005 “Rule 8 Sect 3 Art 2 subsect. a” to find that the PAT is really Florida’s decision and since they left the field the PAT would not be played. Perhaps the rules have changed for 2006 but I doubt it and Pete should have known that.

  2. Richard Says:

    excuse me…. “columnist” my bad, just got a little excited is all. Either way the PAT was a non-issue so it meant absolutely nothing to bring it up.

  3. john Says:

    wow, stephen hasn’t written a article since Sept. 11th, is VP dead ?

  4. V-Man Says:

    The MSM hasn’t been in the facts reporting business for years now. They sell ads now, and will print whatever is required to get those eyeballs. The truth is nothing more than a starting point for them.

    “They’re lying to me” is now my default position when I check out the media, same as when I hear a politician. It’s amazing how it helps.

    P.S. John, maybe Stephen is busy raising a baby. I think it’s a little more important than blogging, especially for the price we pay here. 🙂

  5. TIm P Says:

    V-man’s right. MSM news ceased being ‘news’ a long time ago. That’s been true for politics and current events.
    Why should the erosion of standards overflowing into sports be any surprise.
    Oh yeah, go Buckeyes!

  6. Darrell Says:

    Ralph Rotten’s in Florida now? He used to run the sports page in the Colorado Springs paper. Small world.

  7. jw Says:

    john-

    looks dead to me. it pretty much died when steve posted his diaper changing story. just took awhile to realize it.

    and v-man, he may be doing something more important, but that wasn’t the question.

    just sayin’

  8. doug quarnstrom Says:

    Thank God we still have Vodkapundit to tackle the important issues of the day.

  9. Silicon Valley Jim Says:

    but we expect politicians to lie to us. So what does it say about the MSM when a newspaper does the same thing?

    That, of course, we should expect the MSM to lie to us. The fact that the newspaper with the largest circulation in my SMSA is the San Francisco Chronicle gave me a head start on this expectation. The Chronicle gets facts wrong so often that it’s not clear in any given case whether dishonesty or ineptitude is the cause.

  10. Mikey NTH Says:

    “Since when are people who work for newspapers suddenly higher beings who don’t have to live up to basic standards of truth?”

    Since the prophet Cronkite brought the tablets of Murrow down off the great antenna. Or something like that.

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