Gosh, I missed the nadir of student journalism, Pomona's The Student Life. After nearly a year, I had forgotten just how badly they do their job of checking basic facts. This time around they plagiarized guest blogger, Jesse Blumenthal on Pitney's Palin prediction without attribution.
Let's go article by article in its first issue of the year.
In Sarah Higley's "350 Protest Rove's Speech, Conduct Citizen's Arrest," the errors are truly egregious.
- Even if one takes the position that a citizen's arrest is proper, the title alone is misleading. They "attempted to conduct" rather than conducted a citizen's arrest.
- If they had checked with the Claremont police department or basically any introductory constitutional law book, they would know what Claremont Police Lieutenant Shelly Vander Veen described in the Claremont Courier. “This knowledge [must] come by means of being a witness immediately present during the acts or a victim and this knowledge cannot come from browsing the Internet, watching television, or reading books. No such evidence was presented to the police.”
- If Higley were an actual reporter, she'd contact someone with knowledge about the law rather than taking the disreputable Paul Waters-Smith at his word.
- Ms. Higley continues by failing to note that the pepper spray is alleged. She reports it as if it were true. She finds that supposed objectivity when she says incredulously that the "bomb threat may or may not have been related to the protest."
- She fails to critical ask what Darryl Smith, a professor at Pomona, was doing at the protest in the first place. It is assumed that it is both appropriate and normal for a Pomona professor to lecture at the protest.
- She also uncritically examines the question of whether or not the group organized in just six days when documents they have released online suggests otherwise.
- September 16 WAS NOT the date of the talk as the lede indicates.
- The authors write that "Rove criticized the Barack Obama and John McCain for what he called improper vice-presidential selection." Rove did no such thing. He simply commented that this election may be the first since 1960 in which the choice of a vice presidential pick matters.
- They also write, that "Rove said that Tennessee, West Virginia, Louisiana, and to a lesser extent Virginia are the battleground states." On the contrary, Rove said that those initial three states were NOT swing states at all. Even the most basic check on the polls would show that this statement could not have been true.
- The article also quotes a random protestor from Ontario, CA instead of a single Claremont conservative.