MSNBC Prime-Time Star's Original Unconfirmed, Unfortunate, Irresponsible Report Entirely Off-Base!
In a text-book case of everything that the MSM might appropriately use to illustrate everything that can be wrong and dangerous about bloggers and blogging, a report filed just before Christmas on the Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Inc. (YEI) vote-rigging software scandal was published by a blogger.
The report included demonstrably false information passed on by the blogger on behalf of both Feeney and an unnamed attorney from YEI. The report was so poorly researched, so scurrilously irresponsible and so inappropriately damaging to a single American citizen, that if all blogs articles were like this one, we'd be the first in line calling for the immediate abolition of all such Internet web logs.
Unfortunately, that reprehensible report was filed on the "Bloggerman" blog of the mainstream media's (or MSM's) own Keith Olbermann of MSNBC's prime-time Countdown program.
As we reported back in late December of last year, Olbermann gave a wonderful Christmas gift to Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) and his longtime friends and clients at YEI by filing a one-sided, unconfirmed and unverified report on his blog, sourced only by Feeney himself and YEI's unnamed attorney.
The victim was, of course, Clint Curtis, who Olbermann didn't even bother to reach for comment before giving Feeney a national platform to say that Curtis had "slandered and defamed a lot of people." Neither did Olbermann give any examples of who Feeney was claiming to have been slandered nor how they were defamed.
(Attempts to reach Olbermann for comment after he posted his blog item went unanswered, but his producer, who asked to remain unnamed, distanced themselves from the "reporting" by telling The BRAD BLOG that "this was Keith Olbermann's writing. He didn't work with me or anyone else on this.")
There was a fair amount of other inaccuracies in his report, but it was this following chestnut, apparently not fact-checked in any way, from an unnamed YEI attorney (believed to be Tom Feeney's old law-partner and current contributor, Michael O'Quinn) that has really ticked us off over the last two months:
Its lawyer claims Curtis has previously threatened the firm and its top officers, in writing, and that they were sufficiently concerned to file a police report as a result.
...And what might have been, for actual reporters, a promising lead or break to look into in order to advance the story and perhaps add a new dimension to it, was dumped wholly unfact-checked on an eager public from Mr. Olbermann's high-profile perch.
The BRAD BLOG has spent the last two months attempting to track down this anonymously claimed threat to "the firm and its top officers". A threat, mind you, that was described as being "in writing" and apparently so threatening that it required a police report be filed.
Olbermann, apparently, thought it perfectly proper to pass that information on to the nation without asking the unnamed attorney if he might be allowed to review the alleged "in writing" threat, or to even contact the police to find out if, in fact, any such report had ever been filed.
Well, The BRAD BLOG did both.
After nearly two months trying to track down the unchecked Olbermann report, we've finally located the supposed threatening writing as well as the police report which was indeed filed. Though it was not filed at YEI's local police precinct in Oviedo, FL. Nor by "the firm" or its "top officers".
It was filed in Winter Springs, FL, the next town over, at the local police precinct of Mike Cohen, Curtis' co-worker and the executive secretary, at the time, to YEI's CEO, Mrs. Li-Waon Yang. The letter "sufficiently concern[ing] to file a police report" as Olbermann described it, seems very clearly meant as an attempt by Curtis to help his former friend and co-worker, Cohen, not to threaten him...
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