Note: This article was written by ROBIN READER (612) and was originally published on her website Broken Arrow Forum on November 24, 2010, and reappears here on this blog with her permission.
Bob Lewis posted a comment on an article in the Ledger entitled, “Review of legal costs shows ups, downs”. The article, written by Nour Habib, is informative and well-researched, with quotes from school superintendents.
Bob Lewis’ comment, on the other hand, continues the one-sided, hateful, misleading, defamatory, and sometimes even libelous “reporting” he used when he helped start this controversy over two years ago. He has absolutely no basis for the statement he makes about Mann or the innuendos about Gerber and Miller, yet he presents them as if they’re common knowledge. His statement that the District is paying for the counterclaim is incorrect. If he knows this, it is unconscionable that he is lying about it in a comment. If he doesn’t know who is paying for the counterclaim, he has no business saying anything about it.
If Mr. Lewis has a medical or psychological reason for his inability to grasp reality and his obsession with attacking Mann, Gerber, Miller, Air Assurance, and our board members, I sincerely would like to know about it. If that is the case, I will of course stop pointing out how outrageous his comments are, and I hope that someone close to him will, in kindness to him, take away his keyboard.
Bob Lewis posted at 10:06 am on Wed, Nov 24, 2010.
I doubt the school district’s legal fees budget will be anywhere near enough. Jim Sisney may have changed law firms, but his suit has not gone away. Neither has the counter-suit filed by past and present School Board members, which the district is obligated to pay for. And, of course, Doug Mann has seen to it that the district is in violation of state law, assuring considerably more time and expenses from his practice. Still unknown is what legal action Gary Gerber, Bill Miller and others might get involved in as the result of the second state audit. It is practically guaranteed, BAPS will be left holding the legal bills there, too. To call all this a mighty mess would be putting it mildly.
reader612 posted at 11:18 am on Wed, Nov 24, 2010.
Mr. Lewis, there may be a few people left who still buy into your attempts to portray Sisney as a hero and malign the people who did what they had to do to protect the District and its employees. I believe at this point, most people who have been following this at all are pretty clear on what happened and who is behind the controversy.
Sisney’s actions speak for themselves. Anyone who wants to consider the facts in a fair-minded way can find information telling the true story online.
Those who want to believe that Rep. Reynolds is on a mission to get the truth out to the public needs to know what he admitted to in his deposition.
Reynolds, a state Representative, published – on the official House of Representatives website – information that he didn’t know the source of and had not spent one minute checking the accuracy of. He then, according to his testimony, alerted all of his media contacts that it was there. It turns out this information is highly defamatory regarding some individuals.
Reynolds’ excuse for putting defamatory, unverified information from an unknown source in the hands of the media: “The public has a right to know.” He explained in his deposition that he doesn’t need to verify the information because the media is so careful to do that.
What the media is careful about is putting disclaimers on their stories. But the damage is done, disclaimers notwithstanding, when people read in the newspaper, hear on the radio, or see on the TV news what individuals “reportedly” did.
The Ledger participated in this media feeding frenzy, posting unverified information from an unknown source. We still don’t know if there is any truth whatsoever to the statements made in these documents. They were presented as “official findings” from the auditor’s office, which obviously would have given them more authority than an individual’s accusations.
Would you deny, Mr. Lewis, that reputations were damaged by these “official” yet still unsubstantiated claims? Is that journalism’s rightful role? Do you think it’s fine to damage reputations as long as you personally are still convinced that they were bad people – even though you STILL can’t point to any actual proof of wrongdoing?
What if the claims are not true? What is the media’s role in restoring the reputations it so cavalierly trampled in its quest for interesting reporting – or worse, its desire to influence readers’ perceptions?