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Petrino phone record stories

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SF_Express, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    OK, I need an adjustment to my news compass, I guess.

    Twitter is abuzz with people looking over Bobby Petrino's cell phone contacts with Jessica Dorrell and tweeting what they're finding.

    They're finding calls, of course, and text messages (73 in one day in October) and photos being sent.

    I've been in the web part of the business since 1997, and I'm well aware my business has changed.

    But I'm trying to figure out the point/value of these reporting resources.

    Bobby Petrino was fired yesterday, so it's over. The reasons are known. He himself said it was "inappropriate." Except for pure prurient interest and curiosity, what purpose does detailed reporting about the phone records serve?

    Somebody makes the point here that perhaps it will affect his future employment chances, but that's pretty thin to me.

    I'm willing to listen to other points of view, and I'll even note my hypocrisy -- if somebody else does the reporting, our bloggers will probably aggregate it with attribution.

    But what's the point of it all?
  2. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    It goes to show the depth of the involvement. I'm fine with it to this point. If it is July? No.
  3. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Understood, partially. But there was no doubt yesterday they were pretty involved.

    Good point made by Jeff Dalessio on Twitter: You do this as part of your routine beat maintenance (FOI of cell records) last fall, and you've got a huge story. Now, it's over.
  4. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    SF, you are probably right that it doesn't "matter." But particular to this school, it's just following history. The crazy fan who nailed Houston Nutt's ass to the wall did it with FOIA requests that uncovered an incredible amount of texting between Nutt and a local newscaster, including like three minutes before Arkansas kicked off in a bowl game.



    It was unreal both in its obsessiveness -- who would bother? -- and its impact. And last year it was being cited again when the Nevin Shapiro case hit, because there was evidence (the significance unknown at the time) that Nutt and Shapiro had talked about the Miami job.

    So, following up on this one is prudent for that and also because who knows if even now the truth is out there? Will there be any clues in those records about whether the $20K came from Petrino or from university funds? (Criminal implications.) Will there be a flurry of calls between Petrino and the swim coach/fiance, which would suggest the guy knew about the affair and maybe lend credence to that rumor that the motorcycle accident was a cover-up for the ass-beating? Will there be evidence that some people knew about the affair yet remain employed?

    There could be a whole lot.
  5. On some level isn't this a case of give the readers what they want? There are definitely factors to be weighed on both sides, but it seems that's the prevailing one here.

    Not necessarily saying that's right or wrong.
  6. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    Arkansas media got burned when a fan FOIA-ed Houston Nutt's cell phone records and found a few thousand texts to a female TV anchor.

    I think this is, in part, to stave off that happening again.
  7. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    I can see both points, and I can certainly see this: How dumb are you to use a university-issued phone, which is subject to FOIA requests, for this.

    Not that it's a bit unusual for a coach Petrino's age to completely lose his mind -- and now career -- over a 25-year-old.
  8. Somewhere freq is laughing as he deletes his web browser app, places his Rick Reilly book back on the shelf and walks inside.
  9. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Considering the lies that have been only grudgingly acknowledged to this point, it's almost guaranteed that there will be another one that hasn't surfaced yet.
  10. lcjjdnh

    lcjjdnh Member

    Simply seems part of the transparency for transparency's sake culture in the media. Tom Wicker wrote about this a bit in his book On Press.
  11. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Never accept a cell phone from your employer. Never.

    Pay for your own.
  12. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    I think it's just a matter of due diligence. Yes, it's late and irrelevant pretty much, but better late than never. There's still no telling what could find, and with someone like Petrino, yes, I'm sure it's likely so much more is left uncovered, maybe enough to where he doesn't even coach again.

    I don't like it, but I understand it. Part of the job.
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