Monday, June 18, 2007

Pitchforks and Torches..or the microscope leveled at Betsy Johnson

Lately I feel as if we've been in the center of one of those old monster films from the forties. You know the kind--the ones where the villagers chase down the film's creature with pitchforks and torches with bloodlust in their eyes.

The series of local media pieces and LO's efforts on Betsy Johnson have left me feeling a bit like I've just turned off Turner Classic Movies after watching one of those films.

The pitchforks and torches meme continued on Friday night with the release of this WW piece (warning: this is a cached version) once again going after Johnson.

I heard about this piece on Saturday morning but was unable to blog about it--I was away from my computer for the weekend. But I had planned to write about the problems with the piece this morning.

The story in question connected dots that made no sense. Comments immediately following the piece demonstrate as much. And to WW's credit--they pulled the story from their website citing a major problem with the story. Further down in comments, Nigel promises a "proper correction will run shortly".

I'm sincerely alarmed by much of the journalism surrounding these stories about Johnson.

****For disclosure's sake--I am planning to start an internship with Willamette Week beginning July 1. I've made decisions about writing the pieces about Johnson with that in mind--trying to keep my own ethics and morality completely intact. That's why much of the reporting critical of Willy Week has come from TJ rather than me. I've felt that I could cross the line with my own conflicts of interest by writing those pieces.

Unfortunately, TJ is still away--unable to blog as he's not near any computer access. This story was important enough that I felt LO needed to say something about it. The blog's integrity (and by extension my own) would not allow for less.****