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When Liars Blame You

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Write-brained, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. A rant: I'm pissed off.

    I cornered a public official today after getting a document he didn't think I'd get. It's completely contrary to something he had told me in the past. So then ... Surprise ... he implies I got his original statement wrong.

    Well, sir, why didn't you tell me that when the story ran a month ago. "I didn't read it."

    It's not the first time it's happened. It's not the last time it's going to happen. But it infuriates me. It's one thing to lie but it's a whole 'nother thing to place the blame on me, when my jobby job depends on my integrity.

    And you can't really do anything about it when you have a beat but keep your head down and do your job and hope people can see through the bullshit.

    What's scary is once you catch a guy in a lie, you now know better than to believe them so then you catch them in a lot of lies and then they tell their friends that you're just a slimeball out to get them and they believe him. You gotta wonder just how much of these people's lives are a lie. If people only knew the truth.
  2. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    People can't handle the truth [/Col Jessup]
  3. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    Cover Your Ass should be a college major.

    Sorry you're dealing with this.
  4. Thanks. It's not too bad. My paper supports me. They know I'm not making it up. I just don't know how these people can look me in the eye later knowing I know they're full of shit.

    The craziest part about this story is I caught this guy's adversary in a lie, too. Same f'in story. Two mind-blowin' lies about two different things. Can't wait til it runs. People aren't going to know what to think.
  5. Running Bear

    Running Bear Member

    I have a very simple policy:

    Lie to me, and I'll fry your ass.

    Make this idiot look like the complete jackass he obviously is.
  6. Reporters shouldn't be vindictive, no matter what the crime ... they eventually hang themselves.
  7. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    eddie murphy line of defense: "wasn't me."
  8. sartrean

    sartrean Member

    Everybody fucking lies. Every public official, every coach, every player, every tom, dick or harry quoted for any feature about anything. Editors fucking lie, reporters lie.

    Get fucking used to it. All we do is print all the garbage nobody friggin' cares about anyway. That's why they lie.
  9. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    hey, shit man.
  10. Freelance Hack

    Freelance Hack Active Member


    Do you have the original comments on tape?

    Also, make sure you record your interviews with this official from now on. The next time he accuses you of getting it wrong, plop out the recorder and play his comments back for him. This works well in public places.
  11. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    W_b, I totally sympathize. It's tough when officials like that put you in an awkward position.

    A couple of years ago I rode with one of the assistant DAs during a drug bust in a small community. Got great material, did some follow-up calls and wrote the story talking about how smoothly the well-planned raids went, how the perps were in jail and weren't likely to make bail any time soon.

    I was pleased with the results and went home happy.

    Next morning the sheriff's office is PISSED at me. Furious! Apparently one of the county judges released the guys on recognizance bonds, pretty much undermining the law enforcement efforts to keep them off the street. And the fact that my story didn't include this, or criticism of the judge for letting them out, pissed them off royally.

    Never mind that the judge released them at 9 p.m., hours after the story had been written. Never mind the cops wanted me to attack, in print, a local judge, to kind of prosecute their own little feud with him.

    Sometimes you just can't win no matter what you do.
  12. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Well-Known Member

    At my first job, I had a high school football coach who, after the first two games I covered, claimed I misquoted him every time (I didn't, he was just a jackass who liked to run his mouth). So I brought a tape recorder to the next game. He said, "What's that for?" I told him that way there would be no confusion over what he said. Never had a problem with him again.

    Everybody lies in this business (my favorite these days are the prep coaches who don't call in scores, then blame us when the parents get mad by saying they are reporting the scores, we're just not getting them in). That's why you always make sure you have proof, whether it be a document or a tape recording or whatever.

    You don't have to go out and make an effort to make these people look like asses. They do a good job of that on their own.
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