Thursday, June 08, 2006

A detective in trouble is a temporary thing*

The last paragraph of this post was previously jumbled during the translation from Word text to HTML. It should be fixed now and I should check for such things right after I post them.

When I saw the headline in yesterday’s SJ-R that the two Springfield Police Department (SPD) detectives who were under investigation were not going to be charged, my first thought was: “I wonder what Dusty Rhodes will have to say about all of this.”

I wondered this not facetiously, although I had an inkling of what her reaction might be, but with a genuine interest in what she had to say. Given her investigation into the matter, her opinion of whether justice was served in this case will no doubt play a roll in how some segments of the public will view the state’s attorney’s decision.

The commentary in today’s Illinois Times is on the city’s panel on race so we might have to wait until next week for Rhodes’ take, although we did get a glimpse of how she feels in a news story that she wrote for today's edition.

I found it interesting to compare the IT story with the report Sarah Antonacci wrote for the SJ-R yesterday. There are some obvious differences in the two accounts and if you have some strongly held opinions on this issue in particular or the police department in general, you might find one or the other of them to be objectionable.

Although the basic facts of the two stories are consistent, as they should be with two seasoned reporters, there seems to me to be an angle (slant?) in the IT story that is absent from the SJ-R story.**

The most glaring difference between the two is who the reporters chose to quote.***

The SJ-R story included quotes from a person from the state’s attorney’s appellate prosecutor’s office, the chief of the SPD, the president of the police union, an assistant in the Sangamon County state’s attorney’s office, a member of the Illinois State Police, and the assistant chief of the SPD.

The IT included quotes from the chief, the attorney for the former officer who leveled the charges against the detectives, the attorney for the police union, and a defense attorney who has filed internal affairs complaints against the detectives.

It’s easy to see then why you get a different perspective from reading the SJ-R story than you do from the IT story.

So which one does the better job of conveying objectivity? Acknowledging that one person’s objectivity is often seen by others as a naive or gross interpretation of the facts, it’s my opinion that the SJ-R does the better job of giving us the story straight.

The news here is that the state’s attorney decided not to file charges. Therefore, it makes sense to base the story on those involved in that process, as the SJ-R did. Reaction from Vose’s attorney might have been useful, but then again, they didn’t provide comment from the detective’s attorney either. So it was a pretty even account – provided that you believe that the attorney general’s office is an impartial arbiter of justice, which the IT seems to have some doubts about.

The IT gives the reader the impression that the fix may have been in by including a quote that states that seldom do such investigations lead to criminal charges. They point out that the police union has been quite effective in defending their members against allegations in the past and letting us know that their attorney comes off a bit cocky about this record. And they include a quote from an attorney not directly involved in the attorney general’s investigation who claims that the detectives may have been the beneficiaries of some home cooking. In short, the IT gives us the impression that the investigation was bogus, or at least that it can be perceived that way if you talk to the right people.

Another thing that caught my attention in the IT’s report is their assessment that the investigation has “fractured” the department between supporters of the detectives and supporters of the former officer who leveled the charges against them. Although I do recall reports in which individual officers voiced opposing allegiances, “fractured” seems to be a loaded word that overstates the internal rift that this issue has caused. If I’m wrong, I’d certainly like to read more about it to see how deep it runs.

In the end, I believe that the SJ-R did a better job of reporting the news while the IT went a bit heavy with their editorializing. Others will say that the IT provided a side to the story that the SJ-R missed, or worse, buried. From a reader’s perspective it’s not always easy to tell. Objectivity can be such a relative thing. I’m just glad that I was able to read both stories before deciding whether to react to this news with jubilation or disgust. The truth is, however, I really don’t know what to think about it.

*Headline provided by Romeo Void in exchange for commercial consideration.

**Full disclosure. As mentioned two blog posts down, I occasionally write for the SJ-R, but I have been assured that the criticisms that I have leveled at the paper in the past have been well taken and that I shouldn’t be discouraged from doing so in the future.

***I believe that this is a conclusive list, but it’s possible that in my rush to get this to press I might have missed something.

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a person very close to the SPD I can tell you that the "fractured" characterization is greatly overblown.

All I have seen is officers coming to work, doing their jobs, and just waiting for the results of the investigation. There is very little talk of the situation. I am sure there are a small minority of the officers who hope the allegations against Graham & Carpenter are true. But those people didn't like them in the first place, with or without the allegations.

Members of the SPD have become ambivalent to the voluminous negative press they receive on a continuous basis. This is just one more chapter in a long, boring book.

Dave H said...

You would think that after almost a year, the States "Premier" law enforcement agency would have had some kind of smoking gun. I believe that internal afairs investigation for their own troopers must be complete within 90 days. I have heard some of the lines of questioning from these investigators to potential witnesses....Is it true that Det Graham got up from an interview, barged out of the room and slammed the door?......Is it true that Det Graham once wore flip-flops to work?......Is it true that Det Graham once had a couch in his office? Tax money well spent. Some of the responding witnesses were quoted as saying "I sure hope you have a little more than this to justify spending almost a year of taxpayers money.

The bottom line is that all the allegations against both Graham and Carpenter really come down to supervisor issues. Where were the supervisors? They should have been reading the reports, the affidavits, reminding them to return search warrant returns. You have no idea the paperwork involved in investigating multiple homicides. It becomes easy to overlook administrative issues.

I have had several e-mails with Dusty Rhodes regarding her slanted reporting on this case from the perspective of Ron Vose's corner. I don't think she understands fair and balanced journalism. She thinks its sexy to talk about sensitive police investgative techniques such as trash rips in the press. Its kind of like the NSA and wiretapping...just talking about it makes us less safe as well as the officers conducting them.

If I were Graham and Carpenter, I would first try and obtain every reports gleened by the ISP. I would then go on the offensive. Their reputations and credibility have been forever tarnished and that is all you have as a police officer.

BlogFreeSpringfield said...

Dave H,

Why do you think that the ISP dragged the investigation on for so long? Was there pressure to find something serious enough to warrant charges?

Thanks for commenting,
Dan

Dave H said...

Hard to say, there were supposedly five DII investigators assigned to the case. There should be reams of paper. The Appellate Prosecutor was quoted as describing the case as a "witch hunt" which matches with the line of questioning I have heard. I, of all people understand the need at times to investigate every angle but it doesn't take long to realize whether a case is "there" or not. It appears to me that these investigators were under pressure to find something! The full story will come out in time.

Larry Stevens said...

I'm intrigued by your comparison of the SJ-R and IT. I've always admired IT's commitment to social justice and their dismissal of so-called "journalistic objectivity". I've always felt that "objectivity" is a false virtue in journalism because of it's impossibility. Journalists who eschew the pretense of objectivity are the more honest for it.

I have a lot of respect for the SJ-R even though they subscribe to the afore-mentioned false virtue. My great-great-great uncle was the editor and proprietor of the Illinois State Journal during Lincoln's time and was as fiercly and unabashedly partisan a journalist as you could find.

The SJ-R editorial page has really changed for the better since the retirement of Ed Armstrong a decade or so ago. While their editorial page has improved, the city desk is still trenchantly pro-authority, willing to take at face value anything said by anybody in a uniform of some kind and call it "objective."

BlogFreeSpringfield said...

Larry,

I agree that objectivity is an ideal that can't be attained, but I do think that it should be aspired to, especially if you are the only daily newspaper in town. And I think that the SJ-R does a good job of that.

There are a couple of regular commentors to this blog who would probably take issue with your assessment that the SJ-R kowtows to law enforcement agencies. But then again they have a different perception than you or me, and perhaps some knowledge that we aren't privy to.

It's interesting that you have not only traced down your great, great, great uncle, but that you also don't let nepotism cloud your judgement of his journalistic abilities.

Thanks for commenting,
Dan

Anonymous said...

I guess "Larry" would like for the SJ-R to head over to the County jail and interview a prisoner everytime that one is arrested. I can already tell you how the interview will go and you probably won't ever see the words, "did" or "it."

"Larry" must be the kind who would like to see a police officer prosecuted for killing an armed criminal because the officer did not merely shoot to wound.

Roland Klose said...

I just saw the original post and the comments. You compared an SJ-R story that appeared on a Wednesday with an Illinois Times story that appeared on Thursday. Illinois Times has led the way on this story for months, but sometimes, we can't help that we're a weekly. We had an obligation to report this development -- and to provide readers with additional information that was not already available. We have not written any commentaries on the matter of detectives Carpenter and Graham. I agree with "Dave H" that the "full story will come out in time" -- and it's my expectation that it will appear in our pages. As for the comments by Larry Stevens, we abide by the same standards of accuracy and fairness as any other reputable source of news. Indeed, because of our small size and local impact, we make every effort to exceed those standards.

Anonymous said...

As is typical of a liberal, Roland Klose is delusional. If he thinks that little sweet Dusty is just giving the facts on Dets. Carpenter and Graham he is not just delusional but also gullible.

It's not the facts you put in your slanted rag of a paper Roland, it is the facts that you choose to ignore that give credence to the "other side". The "other side" to your paper is any majority member, authoritative establishment or conservatively leaning individual. You can try to sugarcoat it all you want but your paper is far from impartial.

Roland Klose said...

What facts have we ignored?

BlogFreeSpringfield said...

Roland,

Was Dusty's story written, at least in part, with Sarah Antonacci's story in mind? Would your story have been different if the SJ-R didn't report on it first?

Thanks for commenting,
Dan

Roland Klose said...

Dusty heard about the development on Monday. We weren't sure when the SJ-R would get to it. We prefer not following the daily, but Dusty felt strongly that we had an obligation to tell our readers that the two detectives would not be criminally charged. Of course, we read the SJ-R's story on Wednesday, and we looked for opportunities to provide additional information on Thursday. However, I'm sure we would have sought a comment from former Sgt. Vose (or his lawyer) as well as lawyers who have been pressing for information about the two detectives -- for the simple reason that these folks have been largely responsible for putting the spotlight on the two detectives.

dusty said...

Mr. Naumovich,

With all due respect, I'd like to clarify a couple of facts in your original post.

1) In comparing IT and SJR, you said SJR quoted the SPD chief and asst chief. I think SJR quoted Caldwell; I quoted Kliment.

2) You said I failed to quote the detectives' attorney. To my knowledge (and if I'm wrong, their pal Dave will certainly correct me), they have not retained an attorney, which means Stone serves as their attorney. I quoted Stone. If he came off as "cocky," that's your interpretation. The quote I used was an accurate reflection of his assertions to Judge Eggers in open court. There was not a more humble quote I chose not to use. He simply said what he said.

3) You stated that, "The news here is that the state's attorney decided not to file charges." If you mean Schmidt's office, they didn't decide; they recused themselves because their stamp of approval is on everything Carpenter and Graham did (that's not a negative comment, just a fact).

4) I had no comment from Zalar simply because he was out of the office all day Wednesday. We later spoke, at length; nothing he told me in that conversation would have changed my story.

I object to Dave's characterization that I feel it's "sexy" to write about trash rips. There's nothing sexy about trash-rips; there's nothing sexy about this story. Dave has discussed this topic with me via phone more than once, and I reminded him that the detectives' use of this strategy was well-publicized before I ever wrote about it. Regardless, I make no apologies for reporting a salient fact.

As for the accusation of "slant," we'll have to agree to disagree. Whether Vose is right or wrong will eventually become apparent, and no one is more curious about that than I am. What's clear is that he is at least willing to stand squarely and publicly behind his allegations. I've got several sources willing to support Carpenter and Graham anonymously, but I'm still looking for knowledgeable sources willing to support them on the record.

And finally, Mr. Naumovich, since you are a journalist yourself, you should feel free to use my published email address to contact me if you have questions about my stories in the future.

BlogFreeSpringfield said...

Ms. Rhodes,

You can call me Dan.

I think I need to address your last assertion first. I wasn't attempting to investigate and report on this story; I count on you and Ms.Antonacci to inform me on these matters. I do hear things from time to time, but I try to keep that out of my analysis.

While I'm not a reporter, I do occasionally like to comment on the local media and I thought that the two stories offered an interesting contrast. I present my opinions and hope that maybe some of the five or six people who read this blog will chime in and we can get a little discourse going. In offering my views, I try not to be too Coulterish. I know that others have opposing views and I respect that by including statements such as:

"Acknowledging that one person’s objectivity is often seen by others as a naive or gross interpretation of the facts, it’s my opinion that the SJ-R does the better job of giving us the story straight."

and

"Objectivity can be such a relative thing.'

So now that we've established my non-reporter credentials, let me address your points:

1)You're right. You, and not the SJ-R, quoted Kliment. I did, however, have the forethought to include a footnote warning the reader that I may have screwed up my review.

2)Right again. I did assert that Stone sounded "cocky". However, you now seem to be making a similar asserting by writing "there was not a more humble quote I chose not to use."

3)When I said that the state's attorney decided not to file charges, I was referring to this line from the SJ-R article: "Charles Zalar, with the state's attorney's appellate prosecutor's office, said Tuesday that the office will not file charges against the two." Perhaps I didn't identify the office correctly, for that I apologize.

4)I simply noted that Ms. Antonnacci quoted Zalar and you didn't, and as a reader I found that perhaps indicative of a slant.

I believe that the only point you made in your IT article that I questioned the validity of was when you wrote that "the investigation has fractured the police department." I don't recall reading evidence of that in any of the other published reports, and I see that you didn't list that among your complaints, but maybe you were just being kind by overlooking that one.

To conclude my defense, my whole reason for commenting on these two stories was that when I read the SJ-R's report, I didn't sense that they cared one way or the other. When I read your report, I got the feeling that you didn't feel justice was done. After reading your comments here, that feeling is even stronger, although it wouldn't be fair to judge your published report based on these after-the-fact perceptions.

I really would like to hear why you think that no charges were brought against the detectives. I also find it interesting that Dave H. asserts the investigation was a joke. I don't expect that this story will be revealed in the comments' section of BlogFreeSpringfield, but I am glad that we were all able to discuss it here.

Thanks for commenting,
Dan

Dave H said...

Dusty, I hope that you are not suggesting that I was ever an "anonymous" supporter of Graham and Carpenter. I worked with these Detectives for several years. I was never interviewed by DII. I offered to go on the record with you. You know the hoops that were needed to be jumped through for me to do this. That offer still stands.

Anonymous said...

Dusty knows that she is safe with her veiled "challenge" to entice someone to go on the record in support of Carpenter & Graham. Dusty knows that those who work closest to C&G cannot by SPD rules and regulations do such. Her actions are akin to beating a defenseless person. C&G simply cannot adequately defend theirselves in the press due to the internal restrictions they are subject to. That it why it is critical for a journalist to report both sides of an issue fairly. That is if the journalist has an ounce of integrity.

In my view you have already have many who have gone on the record in their support of C&G....the Sangamon County States Attorney's Office. Has Schmidt or Weinhoeft questioned their work habits or integrity? On the contrary Weinhoeft has publicly defended them in his response to the scumbag defense attorneys who are trying to exploit the situation. A situation which has been fueled by the sensational news stories that both the SJ-R and IT has produced.

And finally Dusty. As Dan alluded to, your unabashed glee at the turmoil C&G find theirselves in is painfully obvious. As obvious as your disappointment in the Appellate Prosecutor's Office's decision not prosecute. I guess you have to go find another cause to exploit and slant in your own twisted way. Do us a favor and use your superior powers of digging at hopeless causes. Go find a unicorn or Bigfoot. Just do something worthwhile for a change.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:

You said you knew of facts that haven't been reported, but haven't offered any. (Unless, of course, you meant the fact I'm delusional, liberal and gullible.)

Our e-mail addresses and phone numbers are public -- if you want to tell us something we don't know, I'm sure Dusty will be happy to listen. (Me, too -- but she's covering the story.)

Our only agenda is getting to the truth. If you're afraid to identify yourself, that's okay.

Roland Klose said...

oops, the previous message was from me.

Anonymous said...

You're not very bright Roland.

What part of "can't comment publicly" do you not understand? Dusty said she is looking for someone who will support them on the record. That is not possible at this time.

At first I thought that was part of your smart, yet devious, plan. Now I am beginning to think I have given both of you too much credit.

Anonymous said...

One more thing in regard to reporting the "truth".

Pray tell Roland and Dusty. Where did Dusty get the information that the SPD is "fractured?" Anonymous 6:05 reports that is greatly overblown. Does "fractured" mean her buddies Rickey or Ronny, or is there more than that? If there is more than that, how many did she talk to?

Dusty apparently has no problem either fabricating information like that, or protecting anonymous sources. So why does she need someone to go on the record in order to report support for C&G?

And in closing, I did not say I had any facts on this matter. I am questioning how hard Dusty is looking for facts (facts like Dave H. brought up, that the investigation is nit-picking on trivial matters) that would make C&G look better in the public eye, as opposed to trying to destroy them. You know, balanced reporting. I'm sure you have heard of it. But that wouldn't be as much fun for Dusty would it? It is much more fun to come to work and stick it to "the Man," than actually report in a fair manner. Right Dusty?

Roland Klose said...

"it is the facts that you choose to ignore" ...

"I did not say I had any facts on this matter."

Thanks for clarifying things, Anonymous.

No Spin said...

I would have at least an ounce of respect for the IT if they would just come out and state that they present a liberal point of view and that their perspective is from that of a secular-progressive. Just stand up and be proud of it and not try disguise yourselselves as a fair and balanced paper, my god...just look at the cartoons in the paper.

I could never understand why conservatives will stand up and declare that they are proud to be who they are, although the liberals seem to hide in shame behind their keyboards in their only forum to the public which is the elite left wing press.

Well, it sells alot of papers....oh I forgot...the IT is free!

BlogFreeSpringfield said...

No Spin,

Do you believe that Fox News is an objective news source or one with a proud conservative perspective?

Thanks for commenting,
Dan

BTW everyone,

This is an unofficial record for comments to a single blog post here at BFS. Thanks to everyone who made it possible. Dave H, the IT contingent, Big Lar, various Anonymouses, you know who you are. We couldn't have done it without you.

It got a little hairy at times, but I think that we've all learned a lot about each other and we're all the wiser for it.

No Spin said...

I have seen a scientific poll which stated that 48% viewship of FNC are actually Democrats.

I believe that FNC, better than others, presents a consistent point of view from both sides and lets the viewers decide. That is all I want in a news channel. The numbers speak for themselves.

No Spin

Anonymous said...

Dear Roland,

It is hard to find facts if you don't look for them....dipshit.

By the way, where is your or Dusty's rebuttal? It's hard to keep masking your lies and deficiencies isn't it?

No Spin said it best. Just call yourselves left-wing journalists and be proud of it. Why try to mask the obvious?

When I see a conservative cartoonist featured in your future rags, next to Ted "Psychotic" Rall's garbage then we will start to talk about fair and impartial reporting.

Roland Klose said...

Running a conservative cartoonist in Illinois Times wouldn't begin to address your issues, Anonymous. But if you have any suggestions, I'll consider them. Our pages have always been open to a wide range of voices; our news content speaks for itself.

No Spin said...

That it does!

her slip is showing said...

If there's any doubt that Rhodes and the Illinois Times are biased, or at least obsessed, check out this week's installment about the drug dealer (ok, alleged drug dealer) and Rickey Davis. There is absolutely no news to report. This encounter at the gym happened weeks ago and was duly reported at the time. Now a minor, run-of-the mill hearing on bail amount (and never mind that someone called it "emergency," it's still a piddly thing that likely took all of five minutes) warrants a big write-up like this? There's no issue at all here--the judge says "OK, here's the bail amount." The way Rhodes approaches this story belies her sympathies. Most folks would have difficulty raising $80,000 or $100,000 in cash. This guy has come up with six figures, yet we're never told what he does for a living, or how he might have come across so much cash. He does manage to find time to work out between 8 and 10 a.m., when most folks are at work. Who is this "associate" who tried to bail him out? Why can't we know his name or his precise relationship to the defendant? For my money, that's relevant, considering the nature of the charges and the amount of money involved. More troubling, however, is Rhodes' description of the status of the Graham-Carpenter investigation: "The detectives are currently the subject of an Illinois State Police investigation into allegations of misconduct, including their use of so-called 'trash rips.'" Really? A week ago, Rhodes (and the State Journal Register) reported that the relevant officials have decided no criminal charges will be filed against the detectives and that the matter is now in the hands of the police chief, who will decide whether any departmental rules were broken. Why would the state police be investigating this, or anything other case for that matter, after the lawyers in charge have already said there's no criminal case here? Finally, and a real stunner in my estimation, was Wolff saying that no confidential source was involved in this case. The daily paper missed this, and, really, so did Illinois Times. This fact should've been at the top of this story. Instead, it's near the bottom. Inexplicable, considering that both papers made a big to-do about a judge saying that the snitch in this case had to be named. Now that it turns out there was no snitch, what was once so important--when it looked like Graham and Carpenter might be in real serious trouble with a criminal court of law--is barely worth mentioning. Appalling.

Anonymous said...

"Her slip is showing" is obviously a bright, astute individual. Good work. I thought many of the same things while reading Dusty's "balanced, & fair" article.

However, don't expect to see a response. Dusty and Roland seem to clam up when a good point is made that they have no rebuttal to. Which seems to be mounting by the day.

I love it when bad things happen to bad people.

Roland Klose said...

There are more productive things to do than rebut every foolish thing said by cowards who cloak themselves in anonymity. But this one is too easy: "Her slip" says there's no news, then contradicts himself/herself by saying "the news" -- the absence of a confidential source -- is buried. "Her slip" says the circumstances of the Washington-Davis meeting were "duly reported" -- they were not. This account was the first to include Davis's and Washington's version of what happened, providing context previously unable to the public. "Her slip" glosses over the fact that an additional million-dollar bail was set for an individual (who we should presume is innocent until proven otherwise) based on the word of an SPD officer whose credibility has been called into question, correctly or not, on other matters. "Her slip" ignores the fact that there was ambiguity over the actual bail amount, something misunderstood by the defendant, his counsel, and the SJ-R (which reported the judge's action incorrectly last month). "Her slip" demands to know why the individuals attempting to raise bail for Washington are not identified, but as of Wednesday's hearing, the bail amount was not met. "Her slip" assumes that the ISP investigation has concluded because prosecutors have advised no criminal charges will be pursued -- that assumption has no basis. Our account was, as always, factual and thorough. Again, I invite people who believe they have information about this or any other matter to contact my staff.

dusty said...

To Dan: I can't defend "fractured" with out giving up certain sources and publicly critiquing my colleagues, which I choose not to do.

To DaveH: The hoops I recall involved submitting a list of questions that you would have to get approved by your current employer. You didn't seem to hold out much hope they'd say yes, but we can try if you want to. Contact me the old way (not via blog). As for whether or not you were ever anonymous, I guess you’ve forgetten that I figured out your identity after your first e-mail. So no, you weren’t anonymous after that.

To "Her slip": You have several facts plain wrong. Roland straightened you out on the difference between the SJR's account of the gym scene and IT's; and yes, I do think it's newsworthy that Davis is the one who approached Washington -- twice -- not the other way around, and yet Washington is the one accused of harassment. Other inaccuracies: the court hearing took more than five minutes, the source of Washington's bond money was discussed between attorneys, and Noll had records to show where it came from. The ISP investigation had not concluded as of last week; at least two major steps were left (talk to Dave H, I'm sure he can fill you in).

Most importantly, you confuse the no-snitch in this case with an entirely different case. The judge who ruled that SPD must reveal a confidential source was Judge Eggers, in the Morgan brothers' case. But the case I wrote about last week involved Larry Washington, and was heard by Judge Zappa. In the Morgan brothers' case, SPD has specified an informant. In the Washington case, there is no informant; SPD detectives did a trash rip on Washington for no apparent reason. (In a subsequent search warrant, they implied they were seeking a gun used in a Chicago murder, but that gun had been recovered within hours of the murder -- which happened in 1999.) I did write about the ruling on the CS in the Morgan brothers' case; I'm not sure whether the SJR ever did (I don't always read the paper). But it was the SJR that published a story on Noll's request for the CS in the Washington case (that story came out, coincidentally, just about a week before Davis had this encounter with Washington at the gym). I never wrote about Noll's request until last week.

If you're ever interested in being right about who wrote what, our archives are easily searchable online.

One last thing: If I don't answer you inaccurate and unsigned accusations promptly, it's not because I'm afraid; it's because I'm busy doing my work and taking care of my kids. My email address and office phone are readily available; anyone who wants to have a serious dialogue with me is welcome to do so. If you're worried about your identity, I have a proven track record of not revealing my sources. I am not sure when or if I'll check this blog again. Sometimes I feel like life is just too short to play games with people who have no balls.

Dave H said...

Dusty, I never gave any indication that my current employer would reject your list of questions for me. It does seem futile at this point since this whole ordeal is leaning towards G&C's favor and not yours. It doesn't appear newsworthy at this point, only redundant. Your right, my first e-mail did have my name and badge number. You got me on that one.

dusty said...

Dave,

Your first email had the name dave followed by a three-digit number. Nothing indicated that it was a badge number; it could've been your birthday, your anniversary, your kid's birthday, whatever. So please don't pretend that you fully identified yourself. And as early as 2/3, you proclaimed your info "not newsworthy." So why do you fault me now for not pursuing it?

If your comments on this blog are any indication of your work as a law enforcement officer, I'd say hang up your badge and become an attorney. You have a real knack for selecting certain facts and overlooking others. Great trait for a lawyer. Not sure it's good for a cop.

As always, feel free to contact me the old-fashioned way.

No Spin said...

Typical liberal media. if you can't win the debate, you attack the person. Dusty can have her personal select few confidential informants that won't go on the record but anyone who rebutts her from the PD that officially can't go on the record due to department policy, they are attacked. As for Dave H, he seems to have been least opposing of all anbd he gets attacked. True colors shining brightly

Dave H said...

Just to set the record. I was very nice in suggesting that you present a more balanced perspective in your reporting. In reading this blog, it appears that I was not the only one who felt that way. My e-mail is my name and my badge number and has been for several years. With the list of badge numbers that you have obtained somehow you asked if I was that person. I immidiately "called you" and identified who I was and several calls and e-mails tried to give you perspective into G&C and Vose for that matter as well as how things work offcially and unofficially in the SPD having worked there several years and worked closely with both G&C. I offered to go on the record so you would have at least one point of view from the other side. "YOU" neglected to put together a question list. You could have if you really wanted to have a balanced perspective. "YOU" did not! I will still take that list of questions anytime. It is a little late in trying to be balanced. Since you didn't get G&C are you going to start attacking me?

I am not going to run and hide to the comfort zone of private e-mails or telephone calls. This is where everyone is listening and everyone is watching. Please be more specific in how I select facts and overlook others with regards to G&C as you have stated.

Anonymous said...

"This is where everyone is listening and everyone is watching."

You're a brave man, indeed!

I'm guessing there are probably five people watching here. There were six. One of 'em died of boredom.

dusty said...

Dave,

As I mentioned before, you wrote me as early as 2/3 that your info was "not newsworthy." Those are your own words; I still have the e-mail. You haven't yet explained why I should have fashioned a "news" story out of something you, yourself, said was not newsworthy. If I write another story on your friends, I will certainly seek your valuable insights.

I did not accuse you of selecting facts about C&G; I accused you of selecting what you recall from our previous conversations. For example, I'm sure I shared with you the fact that in researching the first few stories on these detectives, I sought and obtained official permission for a knowledgeable SPD source to speak to me on the record and be quoted anonymously. I spent hours with this person; this person spoke to me freely.

This source promised me specific documents that would prove/disprove certain facts. I held my story, worked extra late, waiting for these documents. I made repeated calls requesting these documents. I had the source's supervisor call, reminding the source about the documents. Finally, it turned out the documents simply did not exist.

As discouraging as that experience was, I stayed in contact with that source, as well as two others closely related to the detectives. For every story, I ran facts past them, and asked them to explain or clarify for me.

That's already more than I should publicly reveal. I can't say more without betraying confidences. If that means I lose forever the trust of anonymous bloggers and Dave whose last name nobody knows (mine is Rhodes), then so be it.

Anonymous said...

"To Dan: I can't defend "fractured" with out giving up certain sources and publicly critiquing my colleagues, which I choose not to do."

How convenient Dusty! You throw out conjecture and don't have to provide any basis of fact. Nice work!

"There are more productive things to do than rebut every foolish thing said by cowards who cloak themselves in anonymity."

Cowards? A coward is the type of person because he is weak of body and mind chooses a career and ideology where he can safely jab at those who he wished as a young man to be like but knew he never could. Now he is so pent up with frustration of his lack of manliness that he verbally assaults those from a safe distance. Roland is the type of person who would heckle a pro athlete mercilessly but turn around and sue the guy when he attempts to defend himself. Typical and weak.

""Her slip" glosses over the fact that an additional million-dollar bail was set for an individual (who we should presume is innocent until proven otherwise) based on the word of an SPD officer whose credibility has been called into question, correctly or not, on other matters."

So let me get this straight. His word that he is being racially discriminated against is good enough for you, but his word that someone threatened him is not. I guess I am wrong, you really do know what you are doing! Quality journalism.

"I do think it's newsworthy that Davis is the one who approached Washington -- twice -- not the other way around, and yet Washington is the one accused of harassment."

So I guess if you approached me and asked me an innocent question then I could tell you I will harm you and your family? Man, I would love to see your article after that happened! Just another example of your double-standard reporting style.

"the court hearing took more than five minutes,"

How long did it take Dusty? 6.5 minutes? 7 minutes? Did you time it? What is this an episode of The Brady Bunch? It's called exaggeration for effect. He/or she wasn't giving a fact. What does that say for your reporting and intelligence level?

"I am not sure when or if I'll check this blog again. Sometimes I feel like life is just too short to play games with people who have no balls."

Who's balls will you be playing with?

her slip is showing said...

Ms. Rhodes and Mr. Klose,

So there's nothing wrong with the story? I find it incredibly difficult to believe that the ISP investigation continues after criminal charges have been ruled out. Has SPD started farming out its Internal Affairs work to the state? If so, that would be a story, I should think. If the ISP investigation is continuing, you should tell readers why. If it isn't continuing, you should write a correction.

Fact is, there's plenty wrong with this story, if, in fact, it's a story at all. Mr. Klose has called it "fair, thorough and accurate." It's certainly not thorough. A thorough story would have stated the suspect's occupation. When someone is accused of a crime that merits this amount of coverage, you should say what the person does for a living, in this or any other case. The amount of money he's been able to raise makes this even more important. Again, a thorough story would have given a better description than "associate." That can be interpreted as a loaded term. And the justification that bail wasn't raised has nothing to do with nothing--it's a detail the story should have included. Someone went down to the jail with 80 grand. Who was it? A friend? A mistress? A relative? A fairy godmother? Why so much defensiveness about omitting a basic detail? As for newsworthiness, the defendant is a criminal (I understand he has prior convictions) and Davis has been accused of being a liar in another court case, and apparently doesn't dispute he was carrying on an affair, which by definition makes him less than truthful. So what we have is a liars' contest in a gym. Big freaking deal. From the beginning, Davis has said he felt threatened. Any fool can safely presume that the defendant would deny making a threat. How did detailing this he-said-she-said contribute to public understanding of this case?

The Illinois Times has written so much about this Graham-Carpenter case. Much of it has been good, but a whole lot of it has been minutae and details no one but those directly involved would care about. For Mr. Klose to, at least implicitly, justify the story by saying his reporter corrected the daily paper's account of the bail amount is truly grasping. That the paper writes about this case whether there's actual news or not is legitimate cause to conclude that the paper is obsessed, and when that happens, objectivity is in question.

For the record, I am not a police employee. I choose to be anonymous because I can. I do not wish to be a public figure, but the newspaper and its staff are, whether they like it or not, in the public eye. My comments are based on what I see in the paper. Ms. Rhodes and Mr. Klose act as if anyone who criticizes their work is somehow evil or a coward or has some sort of agenda. That's not it at all. This is the 21st Century. Forums like this exist. Deal with it or perish and make way for journalists with thicker skins.

her slip is showing said...

Sorry, missed the part about Dusty saying "two major steps" remain in the ISP investigation. What are those two steps? Don't you think your audience deserves to know this kind of information? And what do you mean by "major?" Apologies for my confusion. This whole thing is playing out in such fits and starts. It's getting tough to distinguish between wheat and chaff.

Roland Klose said...

I don't have a problem with people criticizing our newspaper's work -- I don't think they're evil or necessarily have an agenda. And when we're wrong, we correct mistakes. My quibble is with individuals who, under the shield of anonymity, resort to ad hominem attacks, unrelated to the work in question. That is the act of a coward. You may describe this as the reality of the 21st century; I choose to believe the attributes of good character and civility don't change with the calendar. A journalist in my organization wouldn't be allowed to do that -- these are not the values Illinois Times embraces -- and it would be a cause for termination. Journalists, as you know, put their names on their work -- and are prepared to defend it. In this instance, I don't think my reporter, one of the most visible in this community and certainly one with a body of work that demonstrates the highest level of professionalism, needs a lecture on the need for a thick skin. As I said previously, the story we published was fair, thorough and accurate -- and "Her slip" offers nothing to change that assessment, other than conjecture.

Dave H said...

I hate to be the one to beat a dead horse, but being the pick and choose investigator that I am...

Dave117 e-mail dated 02/02/2006 "I don't think my dated info is newsworthy but if you want to submit a list of questions I can give our general council I will definately consider it"

DRhodes e-mail dated 02/03/2006 "If I get another chance to write another story, I'll send you a list of questions. At the moment, my editor is kind of sick of the whole mess d~

I think you did write several other stories since then...still haven't received that list of questions. I know it's rediculous because even in February it was way too late in your game to present any kind of positive perspective from the corner of G&C. Bottom line is you didn't want any positive perspective of them...you had already convicted them in your mind.

Anonymous said...

"As I said previously, the story we published was fair, thorough and accurate -- and "Her slip" offers nothing to change that assessment, other than conjecture."

Speaking of conjecture Roland, why has Dusty not answered to my charge of conjecture in regard to her "fractured" declaration? I'll tell you why, because it was a ridiculous, reaching statement that she could never prove without a scientific poll taken of the members of the SPD. That is HER assessment, not fact, which is what you say the IT is reporting. That is called biased commentary, not impartial journalism.

I'll accept that she made a mistake and should have never said that. Just say it and be done with it instead of trying to hide it.

Anonymous said...

One more thing Roland.

You claim that you welcome criticism of IT's work, just not the ad hominem attacks. Guess what? Join the club. C&G and the rest of the SPD don't care for your brand of constant criticism over every little thing that happens that YOU think is news worthy while the rest of the civilized world thinks is business as usual (see "Her Slip's complaint as an example).

It is painfully obvious that you can't handle criticism. There are several people criticizing your work here and all you can do is say, "no we're not!" like a child. You simply refuse to listen because you think you are smarter than everybody else. A classic example of the smug attitude that the left-wing exudes as if everybody who does not see things their way are stupid and wrong. I don't think you are stupid to be a liberal, I just think you are wrong in the way you report news. It is neither fair nor balanced.

If you want to see an example of fair and balanced look no further than the author of this blog, Dan Naumovich. He can tell you to "go screw yourself," and you thank him for it. He can get away with that because he is rational, fair, and has common sense. Try it, you might like it.

UMRBlog said...

This dialogue propelled me to read the articles and review the discussion here. I know none of the players and probably no one in this discussion. I do know a little bit about police labor law and discipline, having practiced in that area for the last 28 years.

The topic on the table is "Who treated this more fairly and evenhandedly" (my paraphrase). The writings, either way, tell you stickum about the precise allegations. So my first proposition is "How can you tell from the review of two articles, which one is fairer when you don't know anything about the subject matter underlying the articles?" I can tell you which journalistic style I'm most comfortable with but I can't tell you who is more closely paralleling the truth.


My second propostion is that no intellectual engagement has ever been advanced one millimeter by one participant calling the other "dipshit".

Mostly, I just wanted to get in on Dan's record-breaking thread. This the Kudzu of all threads. "The thead that ate the Blog!"

Oh, I guess there's one other thing I can add. Zalar is well respected for fair-mindedness. If he decided not to go with something it isn't because of any outside pressure or because he wanted to go skateboarding. He'll do his job the way he sees it.

DutchK9 said...

Umrblog if you say you don't know anyone involved in this debate, then let me fill you in on what kind of person Dusty is. About 4-5 years ago I was present in a neighborhood association summer picnic and two officers with the SPD K-9 Unit were putting on a demonstration. Dusty was overheard by myself stating to somebody," You know they only train those dogs to attack black people"!
Now to me, that doesn't sound like it would come from somebody who would be fair and impartial about the Springfield Police Department or its officers!

Anonymous said...

I feel so sorry for those poor humor-impaired dogs.

Anonymous said...

"I feel so sorry for those poor humor-impaired dogs."

Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems that Dusty has taken to using an "anonymous" moniker!

How convenient however, that when one is found to do or say something that they know is wrong or feel embarrassed about, they fall back on the, "I'm just kidding!" defense. "Gee, your Honor, I was just kidding when I told that teller to fill the bag full of money." Weak.

Anonymous said...

no, emily: you're wrong. i posted the comment, on behalf of all humor-impaired dogs, and last time i checked, i'm not dusty rhodes.

Deputy Fife said...

I want to be the 50th post on this thread. Do I get a prize, Dan?

BlogFreeSpringfield said...

Hey Barn,

I'd like to be able to give you a BFS T-shirt for being the 50th commenter, maybe even throw one in for Thelma Lou. Unfortunately, I can't the suits in corporate to allocate any money for it in the marketing budget. If I can get something worked out, I'll give you a shirt.

Dan