Why the Cape Cod Times didn't cover "Occupy their own offices"

Things must be getting a little hairy on Main Street Hyannis
Times editor should have found out "Who's that knockin' at my door?"

Cape Cod Times 11/08/2011, Page A08


Your Nov. 3 front-page story detailing alleged misstatements and untruths by Stephen B. Lindberg, almost all of them from a profile that appeared in The Cape Cod Chronicle, unfairly impugns our newspaper's reputation.
   Like most news outlets, we rely on our sources to provide accurate information and the instincts of our reporters to raise red flags when that information may be question­able. Focusing almost an entire front-page story on the claims contained in our article implies a lack of responsibility on our part and by implication questions the reliability of our reporting.
   It is ironic that on the same front page, your story about efforts to purchase the former Chatham Theater building con­tains several errors that could have been corrected with some simple fact-checking.Your reporter, however, appears to have relied on the informa­tion provided by that story's sources.
   If a newspaper with the resources of the Cape Cod Times - owned by the mega­corporation Dow Jones Inc. doesn't have the resources to fact-check its stories, how can it criticize an independent, family-owned weekly news­paper like The Chronicle for failing to do so?

TIM WOOD, Editor, Cape Cod Chronicle

By Walter Brooks

I've only been a newspaperman for 60 years, so maybe our local daily's editors are playing by new rules.

I walked into my first newspaper newsroom in the 1940's and sat by my daddy's Underwood typewriter at the Waterbury CT Republican-America for many years.

I grew up around that office, even went to Taft School for Boys with it's later Publisher, and started at my first daily newspaper job in 1951.

Back then we were all taught that even if your newspaper never reported on drunk driving cases, you made an exception if an editor or reporter on your newspaper was arrested for drunk driving.

Then you absolutely must report it.

A week ago today a good sized crowd of "Occupy" protestors from around Cape Cod marched up and down in front of The Cape Cod Times office on Main Street Hyannis, and even marched into the lobby making a lot of noise, but no Times editor had the guts to send a reporter and photographer to report about it in the newspaper.

I emailed the Times editor Paul Pronovost to ask why they had failed to cover a story literally at their front door and in their lobby, and got the following email in return reprinted here word-for-word:

Paul Pronovost's petulant reposte
Honestly, Walter, why should I bother? Because you fancy yourself a fellow journalist? Please! You are an opportunist who exploits half-truths and innuendo to advance his own ends. If I believed for a moment you would listen earnestly or portray accurately anything I would share, I'd be happy to do so. But you are, quite simply, untrustworthy.

Paul apparently is not aware that in today's world, a "journalist" is what you call a newspaperman who is out of a job.

I still have a newspaper job, albeit an electronic one or two.

I was nonplussed by Paul's rude answer until I saw his Letters page today with the rather disturbing comments by another Cape Cod newspaper editor reprinted in the sidebar.

The Cape Cod Times also ignored Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Elizabeth Warren's visit to the Orleans Farmer's Market on Saturday, even though there was on of it reporters there. Of course, their bias for her opponent Scott Brown is obvious when they run "My View" columns 50 percent longer than their rules to plug his reelection.

And it reminded me of the time when Paul's newspaper reprinted verbatim a release from the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound as if it were their own words.

And this week's latest ABC circulation drop to 41,000 daily probably didn't help his disposition either. It was 60,000 twenty years ago, and the Cape's population has grown by 30,000 since then.


CapeCodToday.com welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on CapeCodToday.com.