Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Does the press possess the courage to report the FLDS story?

Let me say first that without the reporting of the Salt Lake Tribune, the Deseret News, and to some extent (unconsciously) the San Angelo Standard-Times, the blogosphere around the FLDS controversy would be nowhere.
Having said that, they've settled into a sort of sing song complacency that is infuriating. It is more than difficult as a blogger to be the source of real news in this story. I for instance, am in New England, Bill Medvecky is in Florida, Kurt Schulzke is in Georgia. We're not reporters, yet some of the key events are having original reporting done on them by the bloggers.

Contrast for instance this story, in the Deseret News about two hours ago.

"Only eight children remain under court oversight as the custody battle over the children from the Fundamentalist LDS Church's YFZ Ranch withers away.

Texas Child Protective Services confirmed to the Deseret News on Tuesday that a total of 431 children have now been dropped from court jurisdiction in the ongoing child custody case. The children belong to three mothers, CPS officials said."


But this is old news since Free the FLDS Children reported this story 72 hours earlier. Perhaps with so few children left, and their release from oversight being so regular in the last four months we've become desensitized but this is big news. Five is one of the biggest number drops in the total recently. In addition, it represented almost 40% (38.4) of the remaining total. How long did it take for one (only one) member of the main stream media to report this story? THREE DAYS.

Since Bill was accurate in his reporting of this story it stands to reason his inside sources have him correctly reporting this one as well;

"After last evenings rant on a friends blog by Natalie, whereby she, as an Officer of the Court, named children involved in the CPS 'Investigation' and sent copies of the testimony of Merril Jessop to the blog to purposely inflame any possible Jury Pool against him, (Judge Walther) wasn’t too happy with her girl wonder and bitched her out loud enough to be heard in Peggy’s Office.

I’m sure (Barbara Walther) would have loved to, but neither Willie nor Merril are sitting in jail tonight for contempt of Court, but Natalie is going to have to go out tonight and buy a much larger pair of knee pads to keep barbie happy in the future."


If remotely true, this set of basic circumstances seems to suggest that Natalie Malonis is the active agent of Barbara Walther in the courtroom (news in and of itself) and confirms what a bad choice for stooge she is, and what a loose canon as well.

In addition, there is this bit of news over at Contraries, which if I understand it correctly, is what Bill refers to as "a friend's blog." An extensive section of transcript from the deposition in which Ms. Malonis, goes after the "Teresa Jeffs" child issue. Malonis as gone back and forth, but mostly towards the notion that she does think there is a child, until confronted pointedly, and then she says it's just a hypothetical that we could imagine to be true about other children.

All of this is news.

Then there is my own humble effort to expose a lie hidden in an affidavit to create the warrant to arrest Rozita Swinton, about which the Deseret News bravely says in the same article;

"Hundreds of children were taken into state custody in April when law enforcement and CPS caseworkers went to the YFZ Ranch outside Eldorado, Texas, to investigate a phone call of someone claiming to be a pregnant 16-year-old in an abusive, polygamous marriage. The call is believed to be a hoax, but authorities claimed to have found other signs of abuse on the ranch."


Oh puh-leeeeez. There are so many other ways to write that last paragraph that say so much more and still preserve the paper's position with regard to liability. They could for instance touch on the length of time it is taking to "investigate" charges against a woman who is known to own the phones from which those calls came. After all, it's in the affidavit.

Speaking of which, my own little contribution over the last week or so to the "reportage" on the story has been to reveal that the affidavit attached to the CSPD warrant of April 16th, 2008, is cleverly contructed to promote a falsehood which the press dutifully reports on as fact to this day. That falsehood is that Texas in the person of Ranger Brooks Long called CSPD and talked to Sean Mandel on Sunday, April 13th, 2008.

That is simply false.

Keeping in mind that the "raid" ended with evidence collection by the FBI (and maybe some more Texas activity) on Thursday, April the 10th, 2008, the date of April the 13th is a strange one, and not even a date substantiated by the players involved.

First of all, it's a Sunday. You don't have an Government job because you want to work weekends folks, so if you do work weekends, you don't buy troulbe on weekends. Nobody calls up from one FBI office or Police station to another on something that can wait, on a weekend.

Second, it was the FBI who contacted the FBI but the FBI agent who spoke to me personally whose story was corroborated by the CSPD Sgt. can't even tell me it DID happen on a Sunday. he "doesn't recall." "It could've been earlier" and he "doesn't recall" how he was contacted and "he didn't open a case" and I have since talked to the FBI in Dallas, and they won't comment on the fact that at one end or the other, the FBI was supposed to have opened a case, when one FBI agent requests information of another regarding a crime.

No case. No comment, and it would appear that Ranger Philip Kemp, at the very least was on record as having requested information of the FBI on the Rozita Swinton Phone Call Matter on Friday, the 11th.

I'm sorry, but this is big. You don't go through elaborate trails to hide nothing, yet it appears that this is what the FBI did.

Either Law Enforcement has either deliberately postponed looking into the Rozita Swinton matter until the raid was done, or they are covering up, in advance, the researching of where the phone calls came from. Why pray tell do you cover up carefully the investigation of something you don't know? Isn't one of the answers that you do know?

At this point Mark White of the Dallas FBI office won't even confirm to me if a case was opened to investigate the phone numbers. If Agent Steve A. Smith was lying to me (unlikely), a case should have been opened on one end or the other. The only reason Mark White won't tell me is that he either does not want to confirm the request made of Steve Smith, or he doesn't want to let us know that the FBI tried to investigate Rozita Swinton completely "off the record."

All of these things are news. The last one might even show that the FBI and Texas both knew that there was a Rozita Swinton, and that she was calling, during the raid. Maybe even right up to the point where Sheriff David Doran is standing at the gate to YFZ, wanting desperately to get in, and willing to say anything to do that.


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1 comment:

ztgstmv said...

Jeeesus help us when we can't even trust the cops.