The perils of rapidly posting news stories online — journalistic standards revealed

New newspaper motto: “All the news that’s fit to post … for an hour.”

According to defrocked newspaper columnist Jon Ralston, who somehow managed to snag a copy of a news story posted on the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s website Monday afternoon before it was expurgated, Rep. Joe Heck went ballistic when reporter Ben Spillman asked him about his son’s tweeting.

Ralston reports the story when first posted contained this exchange:

Asked about his own son’s tweet that implied special insight into the raid that led to the death of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, Heck abruptly ended a conversation with a reporter.

On Oct. 16 Joey Heck tweeted that his father’s committee deserved more credit than Obama for the raid.

“Obama didn’t make the call to kill Osama. … That was the intelligence committee #iwouldknow,” the tweet stated.

When asked about the Intelligence Committee referencing tweet Heck ended the interview.

“Are you kidding me, are you kidding me,” Heck said. “Do you really think that my son is tweeting on national security issues? The conversation is over. You have really crossed the line.”

But within an hour the passage was excised, Ralston says.

Tweet that appears next to R-J story online.

Tweet that appears next to R-J story online.

Oddly enough the story that is posted online still carries next to it a tweet by Stephens Media’s Washington bureau chief Steve Tetreault referring to Heck cutting off the interview in a huff. Additionally, the story is nowhere to be found in the print edition. To add to the curiosity of the bowdlerizing, the information about the Osama tweet had already been printed in the Review-Journal a month and a half ago when the paper followed up on a report from BuzzFeed.

Ralston’s comment was: “Even for the ‘newspaper,’ where journalistic standards are an oxymoron, this is a new nadir.”

I’m sure he would include me and former publisher Sherman Frederick in his critique of the “journalistic standards” of the Review-Journal, but in this case I have to agree with him. I seriously doubt any explanation will ever be forthcoming.

I can’t help but wonder who got the phone call from Heck and who made the decision to spike legitimate news.

Even the gray lady got caught changing things online. The perils of posting.

5 comments on “The perils of rapidly posting news stories online — journalistic standards revealed

  1. […] the Las Vegas Review-Journal posted a story quoting Rep. Joe Heck getting irate about being asked about his son’s tweeting practices. An […]

  2. Wendy Ellis says:

    Out of the mouths of babes…

  3. Steve says:

    You know, there is one thing about Ralston today… it would appear at least he can say mostly what he wants to say. While the RJ and Sebelius in particular appear to be controlled by a certain Senator who lives in the Ritz Carlton.

    In fact it would appear that same Senator is happier the RJ did not “go out of business” as he seems have found a better use for it as a tool.

    I know you have denied it and Sebelius is trying to do so as well. Thing is, the readers are not stupid and the stink is getting worse.

  4. […] Monday afternoon the paper posted online a story about Rep. Joe Heck defending his vote to allow the NSA to continue to secretly snoop, sans […]

  5. […] week ago today, the newspaper posted online a story about Rep. Joe Heck defending his vote to allow the NSA to continue to secretly snoop, […]

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