Wednesday, March 5, 2008

More on the Las Vegas Sun mess

I've reached out to Joe Schoenmann about that epic correction and hope to hear back from him. That said, one of the commenters did raise a point that is extremely disturbing.

Damon Hodge, a writer for the Las Vegas Weekly where I do a column, wrote this short piece in July 2007 about having his confidence betrayed by a friend and fellow journalist. He does not name Schoenmann in it, but he gives loads of detail that lead directly to Joe for anyone who knows him. Not to mention, Hodge states he was directly quoted and named in a piece about messy 2007 NBA All-Star Weekend in Vegas after he explicitly said the conversation was off-record.

According to Hodge: "This guy published his friend’s comments along with his friend’s name, leaving his intentions on after-hours’ voicemail: “[blah, blah, blah] cool ... [blah, blah, blah] ... thanks ... [blah, blah, blah] Oh, and I’m going to use your quotes.” Ain’t this a bitch."

I did find the piece he's referring to and, yes, it was Schoenmann who wrote it. You can read it here on this PDF. But you can't read it on the Sun's actual website. For some reason, it's no longer there. See? (UPDATE: A commenter found the correct link on the Sun site. It's here.)

I fear a disturbing pattern is beginning to emerge here. Pulling that sort of switcheroo is a major ethical foul to begin with. Now stir in the calculation that, as a fellow writer at another publication in the same group there wouldn't be much Hodge could do about it. And add the fact that Schoenmann has, once again, opted to reach media insiders -- in addition to Hodge, he also quotes a Kansas City writer -- for comment, which is a pretty easy way to operate. (In the Summerlin piece, Joe quoted the wife of the owner of one of the largest PR firms in Nevada.)

I don't know where this is going. I do know that Joe has been viewed and treated for some time as a golden child at the Sun and that many of his colleagues were aghast when the Summerlin piece ran, as they should have been. It's all very disturbing.

5 comments:

j said...

It actually still is on the Sun Web site (here). A lot of the search/archive got confusing with the launch of the new site.

THE STRIP PODCAST GUYS said...

The link you gave directed me back to this very blog post. Please give the proper link?

j said...

Linked that wrong, it's actually HERE.

sorry!

j said...

Linked that wrong, it's actually HERE.

sorry!

Ric Locke said...

Your post got picked up by Kate at Small Dead Animals, and I ended up here...

Under the principles espoused by this fellow, I would merely mutter "too bad" and go on to the next thing, were I to hear that a planeload of Summerlin residents crashed on approach to, say, O'Hare. That does not excuse the casual creation of hit pieces.

But I do hope you and/or your commenters discover what induced the Sun to run the correction as it exists. Now that we know the substance exists, it needs to be analyzed, synthesized in volume, and widely distributed. The New York market would be highly profitable, and AP HQ in Brussels could easily use up a couple of tons of the stuff.

Regards,
Ric