Fact-Checking to Start the New Year

DebSF -- January 4th, 2011

For those following local politics in the area, recent stories in the DNR contain errors of fact and context worth noting.The Tuesday front page article  “Baugh Elected City Mayor” has two errors.  The statement  “the council – made up of two Democrats, two Republicans and one independent” is incorrect.  Council is currently made up of three Democrats, one Republican and one Independent.  The statement that  Charlie Chenault  “served one term, from 2005-08” is also incorrect.  Charlie previously served from July 1, 2004 – January, 2009.

The Monday front page article “Cigarette Taxes Dip” contains an error of omission, quoting Joe Fitzgerald about estimated tax revenues and misreporting the context of the story by leaving out the fact that he was the sole vote against the tax, in part for the reason that revenues would be so uncertain.

Also, this Monday WHSV story originally reported that “”Kai Degner, who handed over his title of mayor, will stay involved with the city as a member of the Chamber of Commerce” has been corrected online to read ” Kai Degner, who handed over his title of mayor but will continue to be a member of the city council for two more years, will also stay involved as a member of the Chamber of Commerce.”  Jeremy caught this error very early on and posted about it elsewhere, likely resulting in the correction.

Full disclosure:  I’m a member of the local Democratic committee that nominated Kai Degner, Dave Wiens and Richard Baugh in 2008, and gave money to all three campaigns.  I’m married to Joseph Fitzgerald. And I’m the vice-chair of the city Planning commission and serve with Charlie Chenault.

7 Responses to “Fact-Checking to Start the New Year”

  1. Holly says:


  2. JGFitzgerald says:

    They’re now reporting “one Republicans.” Five out of four reporters can’t do math, and the rest have trouble with plurals.

  3. Sheesh. I don’t read the DNR because of the bat-**** crazy all over their op-ed page. What sane person can stand to be confronted by the lunatic ravings of e.g. Michelle Malkin on a regular basis?

    Uh…so…that has little to do with this story, really… Other than “boo for the DNR.”

  4. Bubby Hussein, Hillbilly Sheikh says:

    This is our Newspaper of Record? Why don’t we just pay the Turner Ashby students to post the news as part of their class activities? Taxpayer dollars would go to our schools instead of this rinky-dink outfit.

  5. People here need to understand that the local media only reports what the editors/news directors/station mgrs want them to report.

    Here anything about a local company being sued for dispersing chemicals in the Gulf after the BP oil spill? All three news organizations have the story.

    Here anything about the lawsuits down around Smith Mountain Lake involving all of the players, EXCEPT Walter Curt, where all of those “players” were found not responsible of the two men who died while riding in Curt’s boat?

    And of course, to me, ONE MILLION child support orders entered over 20 years across Virginia because of the failure of the Office of the Attorney General to properly oversee legal matters in the Division of Child Support Enforcement would seem to be newsworthy…local media keeps its mouth shut about that, but advertising DCSE’s “most-wanted” list every time it’s updated.

    Our three local media outlets suck…WSVA’s only because of the strict time limitations placed on that news operation.

  6. MF says:

    WSVA’s is not the same with out Karl.

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