Friday, May 29, 2009

How Soon They Forget

Between a visit to the dentist yesterday and picking up my daughter from school, I dropped in on the third day of the NLRB vs. News-Press trial.

For most of the time I was there, Scott Steepleton, the former associate editor and now city editor of the News-Press was on the stand.

One of the lines of questioning revolved around the attorney for the NLRB trying to establish the fact that to reduce the number of union employees in the newsroom, the News-Press had hired temporary employees and freelancers and assigned them to write stories and cover beats that had previously been handled by members of the union bargaining unit.

That brought about one of the more astonishing exchanges in this, or any other hearing, involving the News-Press.

Steepleton was asked whether Scott Hadly, a senior reporter at the News-Press before resigning in July of 2006, had done "investigative reporting" for the paper.

Steepleton paused, as if giving the matter some thought, and then responded by saying that Hadly had covered quite a few different areas for the paper. But when pressed whether any of them would have fallen into the category of investigative reporting, Steepleton claimed he couldn't recall any "investigative" articles written by Hadly.

I guess Steepleton didn't remember the articles described below:

"On Sunday, the News-Press began "Family Business," a three-part series that tells the stories of six families whose lives were changed, in an instant and forever, by the kidnapping and brutal murder of a 15-year old boy. As preparations were under way for the trial of Jesse James Hollywood in the killing of Nick Markowitz, the paper sent investigative reporter Scott Hadly to find the story behind the story of the notorious case. From family members, many of whom had never spoken publicly before, of all the young men whose lives intersected in violence, he returned with a chilling report of how a seemingly idyllic suburban lifestyle of barbecues and ballgames concealed a hidden world of drugs, crime and violence."

That excerpt comes from the News-Press and was in reference to a series of articles, written by Hadly, that ran in the paper in December of 2005.

Ironically, the Jesse James Hollywood trial is taking place at the same time the News-Press trial is going on. And Steepleton has even covered some of the proceedings in the Hollywood trial.

Guess he doesn't read the News-Press archives as part of his background research.

The News-Press trial continues. Among those expected to hit the witness stand today, fired gossip columnist Richard Mineards.
© 2009 by Craig Smith and