Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Press Turmoil and YFZ coverage

I admit it, I've been shopping my CSPD/Swinton story with zero success.
That doesn't mean it won't turn into something. On the one hand you hope for that "Holy Grail" revelation that will turn the tide on the YFZ case if you are like me, on the other hand, no matter what you think of the people involved, it's hard to wish disaster on any of them. Why would I, for instance, want Lt. Maggie Santos to be in the Klieg lights explaining that she supplied voice talent to someone to create the "cry for help" that was the bogus basis of last year's raid? There's a good chance that the story might eventually go that way.

In shopping the story around, as I have shopped several ignored and real stories around, I have found a remarkable declining knowledge base on the raid, the largest child custody case in US History. 18 months later, few in the press really know anything any longer. One of the reasons I can tell someone might well be lying to me when I do some of my own interviewing and research on this story is that, well, I run into a lot of lying witnesses to certain events and on average the lot of them lie transparently. I am able to gauge this by the fuzzy recollections of the press who can barely remember, and then when the events are called to memory have that "dawning awareness" moment when it all clicks. They get on the same page with you, then they still don't care, but it's a useful comparison.

The public is several notches of awareness below the press, but the gap is closing. Not because the public is becoming more aware, but because the press is becoming less so. The YFZ raid is a layered discussion. Most want to dismiss it because "they" gave the kids back and "those men" are creepy molesters and they got caught, right? It's shocking to see the knowledge of the press deteriorate to the level of knowledge of the public at large. It's mostly due to attrition.

Starting with Ben Winslow, major players in the coverage have either switched jobs, or just plain gotten out of the industry. Ben went from the Deseret News, the "in house" publication of the LDS Church to KSL Fox13 in Salt Lake City. Since then I haven't seen him cover much on the FLDS story. He and the paper got awards for their coverage, and he flew the coop.

Then there was Paul Anthony of the San Angelo Standard-Times who inadvertently provided a lot of the really good stuff, not because I think he wanted to, he was just there to stumble upon it. I'm not trying to insult Paul but there were better writers out there covering the story and Paul often made mistakes that he never bothered to correct. Fundamental mistakes, but he was there and if you wanted to hear it first, it was often from Paul. Paul took a job in with the city of San Angelo, and left the business altogether.

Tak Landrock works for KRDO in Denver. At least he does until Friday. He is going to Edward Jones as a broker, I might guess. I wish him well. Outta da business. Can't say I blame any of them. I was a media guy decades ago. It's why I know what a Klieg Light is. The media doesn't pay well and apparently, like a lot of journalists, young Tak was in it to make a difference and said that no one wants an investigative reporter anymore. Not surprising really. With papers going out of business and businesses hurting, no one wants to put the wood to a potential advertiser. Tak also got some details wrong in the early reporting, but also brought a good deal of the details to light about prankster Rozita.

Only the AP's Michelle Roberts and Brooke Adams are left, pretty much, in the sames spots they were when all this started. There are the reporters at the Houston Chronicle that do a fair job, but they are for all intents and purposes about as far away from the issue as I am and their articles are infrequent. I have described Brooke as having an anti FLDS agenda, and I'm not backing off that description. It's regarded as petty and self serving, but it still remains that when it comes to blogs that might be considered FLDS centric, I am numero uno, not by a little, but by a lot, and have been the better part of this entire year. She doesn't link to me, but links instead to anti FLDS blogs, some of them extremely vile and vitriolic. I should say that I'm not numero uno "by a lot" overall, because Bill Medvecky has been number one, and is a very close second these days. With his more frequent posting recently, he may be number one again, and very soon. Brooke doesn't link to him either, and if you could say Bill was a little heavy handed at times, he's better company than Brooke's Kafkaesque accusers, because he has the added virtue of not being anonymous.

One has to assume that Brooke gets a lot of readership at the "Plural Life" blog hosted by the Salt Lake Tribune. She's got a built in feed. She's also a good reporter. I enjoy her writing and have told her so. This is in spite of the fact that in the last year I've found it difficult to trust her as objective. Let's just say she knows how to put on a show as far as I am concerned. ANTI FLDS centric (ok, DOMINATED) blogs have to be assumed to benefit from the "Trickle Down" of Tribune Traffic passing through the Plural Life and then on down to the few sites Brooke lists as places to go for Blog Talk. She's even listed the anonymous authors of those blogs as important sources and places to go in some posts.

Yes, I tend to digress to make points but here it finally is. There is no friendly coverage of the FLDS in the Main Stream Media. The newcomers don't want to know. The story was all over once the last kid went back. The last vestiges of "friendly" coverage are drifting away into the sunset like Tak Landrock. "Friendly" in this case is a qualified word since really all I can say is they listened better and more sincerely and in a couple of instances recently, it seemed like some of them were ready to publish, and got shot down by editorial staff. We're left with those that want to see the FLDS 12 in Texas get convicted and go to jail and thus don't want to write about stories that might lead to their exoneration or escape.

The rest of the media are rookies to the story and have to be brought up to speed, and they don't want to be. They listen politely for about 15 seconds and then you can hear their attention span go brittle and break almost audibly. It's sorta like a sonic boom. These folks are the above mentioned reporters who know about as much about the FLDS raid as the average person on the street, which in today's lingo is NADA. Zero. Nuttin'. When you finally get the light of awareness to go on for them, that's when you hear their attention go south. Their knowledge of the FLDS story is superficial and all they remember are the media talking points which are that there was a fake call, but there was overwhelming incriminating evidence seen at the ranch and what could the Police then do? The creeps were arrested for raping little girls and good riddance. In that atmosphere all the facts in the world don't sell the story, because you can't get anyone to look at the facts.

In this way Texas has already won, and it's going to take a miracle finish to rescue those men, and their families. It's not a victory for them to win on appeal 10 years from now. It's only a victory for the rest of us. And with the way the 12 have already been tried in the public mind, though that victory should come and should be assured, I wouldn't count on it.

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Jam Inn said...

Why Pharisee does that mean no lesbian 'NannyGate'? No resignation or censure from CSPD Internal Affairs investigations? No, Watergate style cover-up?

Why Rozita Swinton and Becky Hoerth, private citizens, have had their names drug across your blog followed by a whole 'Theory' of accusations and for what?

Sure we all know you think their guilty as sin but where's the 'Proof' or is it that you don't have any except in theory. Your such a 'Champion of the Soon Convicted' and the 'NannyGate' has turned out to be a nannygoat, instead?

No need to apologize to ANYBODY, their probably lesbians anyway. Right?

Wheresthetruth said...

Ben Winslow is now working at Fox13.

If Brooke is anti FLDS why is Hoole so unhappy with her and the Trib?

"It is now time for The Tribune to stop
undermining these efforts by publishing the propaganda of perpetrators"


And don't forget about Jen Dobbner, she still works for the AP.

The Pharisee said...

It means nothing yet. You are not honest.

The Pharisee said...


I'm not going to post any "Rozita is innocent" posts, from anyone. That is unless they can prove to me that they are one of four people:


Becky Hoerth.

David Foley.

The Real "Sarah" (Bwahahahahahahaha)

The Pharisee said...

Fox 13, like I said. heheheh.

Jam, you're working hard on getting simply never being heard here again.

The Pharisee said...


BTW, if Brooke is not leaning ANTI and publishing stories appearing "Pro" simply to appear balanced, then why does she not link to this blog?

I know that sounds like an ego thing, but it's really not. I'm just about the only blogger doing actual (albeit occasional) investigative journalism on this story. Access to courtroom documents is not investigative journalism. I actually go chase down stories.

Brooke links to two VERY hateful "ANTI" FLDS sites.


Bill words his stuff far more strongly than I do, but he's at least matched by the bile at the two. He should get a pass.

Between Bill Medvecky and I we are the two most widely read FLDS blogs (unless Brooke's is bigger) and we don't rate.

I'll tell you what the simplest reason is.

We are PRO FLDS. Heck, I'm not even that PRO.

Wheresthetruth said...

You make some good points.

I think she should link to your blog.

Keep up the investigative work into Rozita, you've done a great job so far!

I believe understanding her and who was involved with her could be the key to unraveling this mess.

The Pharisee said...

Thanks IHB,

I note again that the two ANTI blogs, are anonymous. Bill and I use our given names. Our real, given, legal names. Neither of us are hiding.

kbp said...

All the filings in Warren's case since 9-23-09 are no longer available at the Mohave Courts site.

I did notice that they had missed redacting E's name in one of the documents. Maybe they took all of them down to check through them better.

BlArthurHu said...

Keep on plugging, I'm still working on completing the book, I'm nearly up to the 2 final "separations", got a nibble from the ranch, but haven't heard from them since. Zero interest in the book, maybe a Mormon publisher would take it? Perhaps you'd like to enlist as a co-writer?

Here's the book so far