For years the Daily Union has failed readers by misleading residents about events in their own area, and today their supposed crime reporter Ryan Whisner and his editor (Chris Spangler) blow another story, this time about a teacher in Waterloo who allegedly dragged a small child down the hall of the child’s school (there is a surveillance recording of the incident).
Today the Daily Union reports Teacher allegedly drags 5-year-old down hall.
There are two key problems with the story:
It’s already outdated – the teacher has resigned. Whisner writes that the teacher was placed on administrative leave, but he’s already quit. Another publication – with an energetic reporter – has the latest: “[t]he teacher on leave has resigned, confirms Waterloo Superintendent Brian Henning.”
No doubt the DU will get around to updating their story when someone at the paper (1) finds the way back to the office, (2) figures out how to update a webpage, or (3) finally asks ‘whatever happened to that teacher we wrote about? Can someone Google that for me?’
Gullible. Whisner leaves unquestioned this statement of Waterloo Police Chief Denis Sorenson: “Sorenson pointed out that the child was not injured in the incident.”
Implicit here is that the child suffered no injury, not just under the criminal law, but at all. Neither Sorenson nor Whisner can possibly know that – the child would require both a physical and psychiatric examination.
Whisner’s published story meekly accepts the police statement at face value. It’s the kind of obliging acceptance of official stories that officials themselves find comforting: nothing pleases government more than someone who swallows cheerfully what’s been poured down his throat.
Whisner’s played a role these recent years in helping deceive, through happy-talk stories, residents of Jefferson, Wisconsin about a parade in their very own town. About Whisner’s reporting on the parade – whose promoter appears to have left vendors without compensation – I wrote recently that “[s]omeone should tell the Daily Union’s ‘crime reporter’ that reporting on crime doesn’t require rationalizing alleged criminals’ crackpot festivals.”
It doesn’t require blind acceptance of officials’ statements on injuries to elementary school students, either.
Previously: For accounts of mendacious coverage of the ‘Warriors & Wizards’ festival in Jefferson, WI, see Predictable: From Boosterism to Bad Checks (with links to earlier posts that demonstrate the Daily Union‘s poor work.)