Friday, May 23, 2008

fact handling

if you were expecting the indy star to follow up on its lousy reporting about panhandlers with some fact-checking, then you haven't been reading the star for very long.

on the contrary, they double down: not only does today's follow-up repeat mayor ballard's lie that "most panhandlers are not homeless", but today's editorial takes it even further:

Many advocates working with people on the streets argue that most panhandlers aren't truly homeless. Instead, their "job'' is to stake out a street corner and shake a cup, collecting money from passers-by.

the editorial doesn't mention who these advocates are, or how this misinformation got to the ed board. did the homeless advocates speak directly to the ed board? did they talk to reporter brendan o'shaughnessy, and the ed board took the lie from his article? or did someone on mayor ballard's staff say, "you know, many advocates say that most panhandlers are just scan artists" and it was accepted uncritically?

as i pointed out yesterday, every study i've been able to turn up has found that most panhandlers are indeed homeless. if anyone has any real evidence that this isn't the case, rather than scurrilous lies and anti-panhandler slurs, i would love to see it.

as it stands, it appears that either the indy star was duped—in which case, don't hold your breath for a correction—or, even worse, our city's homeless advocates have been duped and are out there spreading malicious lies about the people they think they're trying to help. the former seems a lot more likely, but perhaps only because the latter is more unsettling.

naturally, we can't count on political columnist matt tully to set the story straight. instead, he delivers yet another column of butterfly kisses for his man-crush, mitch daniels. you could program a bot to write tully'c columns by this point. no, if this lie is ever going to be corrected in the pages of the star, the only place it might happen is in a dan carpenter column.

1 comment:

Wilson46201 said...

Each of the 5 "collection boxes" costs $1500 - who's paying that $7500 upfront?