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The Federalist fact-checks Derecka Purnell's playground "shooting"

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Songbird, Jul 17, 2020.

  1. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member


    Not saying any of that. Nor have I implied it.
  2. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member

    Be interesting to see how it turns out.
  3. tapintoamerica

    tapintoamerica Well-Known Member

    1) The author of the piece is vice chair of Young Americans for Freedom.
    2) The Atlantic has to comment.
  4. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    I suspect Songbird was suggesting it was implied.

    FWIW, I took your post at face value.
  5. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    So, here's how it is described in her essay:

    From that context, I'm not sure why The Federalist was pursuing the angle of "let's look in police and newspaper reports." Like, St. Louis had 113 homicides in 2002 alone - I doubt every one of those was covered in the paper, never mind a non-fatal shooting. Maybe it would have been elevated because it was at a rec center, but... From her account, it is unclear whether the officer was on duty or not. "His cousin skipped a sign-in sheet ... the officer shot him" makes it sound like a family dispute that wouldn't have necessarily even generated a police report.

    The legwork I'm more interested in is whether they interviewed or attempted to interview 1) Purnell and 2) Purnell's sister and especially 3) other people who regularly used the rec center in the time frame. Like honestly, who gives a shit about what the police chief and politicians say? They have zero incentive to say, "Why yes, there was an unreported shooting at a rec center at that time!" You only need to read David Simon's non-fiction work to realize plenty of cases like this just quietly go away. (Heck, I was a police reporter in a coastal tourism town - cases like this would drop out of the official record because the victims wouldn't cooperate, because officers get busy and don't have time to work a case with uncooperative witnesses, etc.)

    My suspicion would be that #3 wasn't pursued because it would cost a lot more money and require a lot more resources, whereas the posted story reads like it was all done remotely. And, by the way - The posted story could absolutely be correct. Purnell's story is light on verifiable details, and there are plenty of examples of people making stories up, or sweetening them, to get a point across. But I don't find Bedford's piece that compelling either. Absence of police reports and official records isn't evidence that something didn't happen - his case would have been strengthened if he talked to some people from that neighborhood, because I bet they would strongly remember that incident happening, OR, they'd be happy to roast this woman who made up the story.
    Batman likes this.
  6. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I have no idea why you (or anyone else) wouldn't take an unambiguous post at "face value."
  7. tapintoamerica

    tapintoamerica Well-Known Member

    How does she know the cop was back at work the next week? Not a trivial detail. She needs to say something like, "I saw the officer at the rec center the next week," or something like that.

    Neither story seems to have had sufficient editorial oversight.
    Has The Atlantic offered up any comment? Even the boilerplate "We stand by our story" line?
    sgreenwell likes this.
  8. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member

    Not that I've seen.

    There's no note appended to the story, either, which is still up.
  9. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    The writer, Derecka Purnell, tweeted that she was positive for Covid-19 5 days ago. She hasn't tweeted anything since Tuesday.
  10. tapintoamerica

    tapintoamerica Well-Known Member

    That’s a good reason. Thanks. Did not know that.
  11. Danwriter

    Danwriter Member

    Given the Federalist's clear reactionary slant, I'd read anything in it as though it was in Breitbart or the Daily Caller.
    2muchcoffeeman, sgreenwell and Mngwa like this.
  12. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member

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