Monday, February 25, 2008

Anonymity, a U. N. death, and the mass media, part 6

Recently, I came across the following website. I suggest you check it out if you are a policy holder of Farmers Insurance Group or thinking about having them insure you in any capacity:

The above link is for a company—Vision Forum—that provides unique products for the family. I am an affiliate for the company and receive a small commission whenever someone uses this link and then makes an unreturned purchase while using the link. Check it out. I think you might like the products offered. I do. See my more complete explanation on my post of February 1, 2008 entitled “Affiliate program with Vision Forum.”

Webmasters Earn Money Here!

Based upon past historical data: 3,287+ UNBORN BABY MURDERS have occurred in the last 24 hours in the United States. See my post “BABY HOLOCAUST” posted January 22, 2008.

Recently, I’ve been involved in a problem one of my clients has with Farmers Insurance Group. My previous posts in relation to this problem were:

September 10, 2007 post: “Beware of Farmers Insurance Group”
September 11, 2007 post: “Farmers Insurance Group’s response”
September 18, 2007 post: “Farmers Insurance Company received the requested list”
September 19, 2007 post: “Farmers Insurance Company’s response to the list”
October 16, 2007 post: “Farmers Insurance Group and my request for information”
November 27, 2007 post: “Farmers Insurance Group does not respond to my request”
January 11, 2008 post: “Farmers Insurance Group latest stall”
January 12, 2008 post: “Farmers Insurance Group is sent a response”
January 14, 2008 post: “Farmers Insurance Group pays some money”
January 19, 2008 post: “Farmers Insurance Group continues to be obstinate”
January 26, 2008 post: “Farmers Insurance Group receives another request”
February 11, 2008 post: “Farmers Insurance Group shows how low they will go?”
February 12, 2008 post: “Farmers Insurance Group: If I were going to respond to the final letter”
February 13, 2008 post: “Farmers Insurance Group and associated companies”
February 14, 2008 post: “Farmers Insurance Group and how others rate the company”

I will not be continuing my Creationism posts today. I do plan to return to them soon.

Then, I plan to answer the response about Iraq. I am sorry for the change in plans. Plans, in reality, often are altered for one reason or another. “The best laid plans … often go astray.” Thank you for your understanding and patience.

How many unborn toddlers were murdered today because of the humanistic, paganish, barbaric decisions of the United States Supreme Court?

Stop the
Murder of

“Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” James 4: 17 (NIV)

My recent posts have involved four news stories—two dealing with the NIU murders, one on John McCain, and one about a death at the U.N. What did these three distinct articles have in common? All reported “information” based upon the ubiquitous anonymous source.

Tonight, a brief look specifically at the U.N. story in relation to the anonymous information given in the story. The original news article was published on February 18, 2008 page A2 in the Peoria Journal Star.

The crux of the story is that a U.N. employee died after an incident on the 19th floor of a U.N. building. Basically, there are only three ways that someone located on the 19th floor of a building could end up outside of the building on the ground dead.

She could have accidentally fallen from the 19th floor. No details of the building were given to give the reader any idea of whether or not that was likely. She could have jumped from the building indicating a suicide. She could have been pushed from the building which would, of course, indicate foul play of some sort.

The official, approved statement said “‘A U.N. agency staff member died after falling from the 19th floor of the U.N. Secretariat Building,’ U.N. deputy spokeswoman Marie Okabe said.” This could possibly indicate all three possibilities but I think to most people it would indicate an accidental fall or possibly jumping.

The anonymous comment is definite about which of the three occurred. “Police and U.N. security officers at the scene, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media, said the 45-year-old woman had jumped from a window after showing up to work early in the morning.” The woman jumped according to the anonymous information. The woman committed suicide.

That may well have been what happened. The readers of the story were not there and probably almost all of them have no idea whether or not an accidental fall was likely. However, by declaring the death to be due to jumping, that is going to remain in the mind of many readers regardless of the official findings.

Why couldn’t the reporter wait until the official pronouncement was that she jumped, or accidentally fell, or was pushed? Why the rush to judgment? Why the necessity to use an anonymous source. Shouldn’t the story be based upon a definitive determination? What if she had been pushed? Couldn’t a defense attorney use this anonymous pronouncement to suggest reasonable doubt?

Were any of the anonymous sources an eye witness? Was there an eye witness? How do we know that the reporter didn’t make up the account? Why were individuals who did not have authority to discuss the case doing so?

How many times is anonymously reported information wrong or misleading? How often do later articles correct wrong information that allegedly came from an anonymous source? Does everyone who read the first article also read the later correction? Does everyone who read the original article eventually accept that the corrected information is indeed true or do they have doubts because of the already processed original information?

Why use anonymous sources? Why not take the time to verify the truth before reporting what may or may not be true? Knowing the source helps to give credence to the information or helps to call the information into question if the known source is also known not to be reliable.

Stop using anonymous information. It should not be given any value since it has not been verified by actual, recognizable sources. It is bad reporting and bad for a democracy that should be based upon the public’s ability to confront the individuals providing the information. By definition, the public can not confront an anonymous source.


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