That's how I feel every single time I read the Record Searchlight.
They did run an article about the case involving my family today. And I could tell from the headline that it wasn't going to be good. After all, they spent the better part of seven years demonizing my family member. They slammed him because he wouldn't talk to them. It never seemed to enter the main reporter involved with coverage's head that we couldn't say anything because of the legal protections of the students involved.
You see, if you're a teacher and a student says something horrible about you, their rights are still protected. You can't just tell the whole world what really happened, no matter how much you'd like to. You can't bring the kids six inch disciplinary tome out and lay it on a podium for everyone to see.
The Record Searchlight began by saying that the federal jury rejected the courts claim. Then they said that the investigation had found most of the charges to be false. They failed to mention that the charge that was found to be true by the investigator (seven years ago) was that "he may have raised his voice to unruly students." After all saying that "some of the claims" were found to be true leaves so much more room for the imagination to run wild.
Then they repeated the claims and said that some people blamed the paper for printing the accusations. And this is what the Record Searchlight doesn't understand. So I'll lay it out for them:
It's not that you printed the accusations. It's that you did zero research, other than printing the verbatim word of a bunch of lying drug addicts, into what actually happened. You did no sort of background research whatsoever. If you had, you might have realized sometime in the last seven years what it took the federal jury ninety minutes to decide when looking at the same facts you easily could have had access to if you'd done a tiny bit of leg work. I know it's easy to sit around in an air conditioned office and listen to someone rant on the phone and type up what they say, but as a reporter you're actually supposed to uncover the truth (or at least give it a good try). And you cannot honestly say that you tried.
Back to the reason for my annoyance. Today's article: after the stellar Record Searchlight reporter repeats the claims, they took it upon themselves to print the area that we moved to when we left the town I grew up in to be near family and get away from the toxic mess that the Record Searchlight created by spreading their ugly lies day after day. They had literally formed their own little witch hunt and they spent seven years getting people riled up over false claims that they were enthusiastic to print.
Then in a couple sentences they say that the jury didn't believe it and tell people where we now live...
I'm not surprised. I didn't expect the Record Searchlight to suddenly realize that they had engaged (and are still engaging) in highly unethical reporting over the past seven years. I guess that would be asking to much.
I can't help but wonder who their next victim will be in their search for ratings. I'd be highly nervous if I were a public official in an area where Searchlight sales were low. That's how things started in this case...