From: Discussion of Investigative Reporting Techniques and Training [mailto:IRE-L@PO.MISSOURI.EDU]On
Behalf Of Steve Wilson
Sent: Wednesday, September 10, 2003 8:11 PM
Subject: Re: Review of "Into the Buzzsaw"
If you're at the point of most people on this list who never
cared or have long grown tired of John Sugg's vicious personal attacks against
Jane Akre and me, please click the BACK button and forgive me for wasting your
Sugg is like an infant off in the corner screaming and hurling the contents of
his diaper at everybody in the room. On the one hand, you know you should
ignore him. On the other, what conclusion will the others draw if you do?
So, if his latest "reporting" he posted here is all you know about me
and Jane Akre and our fight with Fox Television, let me just say this:
The irrefutable documentation of his latest litany of errors, distortions and
half-truths which I can provide would only clutter the list. Instead, let
me give a single example of the kind of journalism this fellow practices.
He wrote Jane and me to inquire, among other things:
<<is there any way you can assure supporters that money donated to you for
legal expenses won't be used to, say, furnish your mansion?... Are those records
available to potential donors and the public?">>
We replied, in writing:
<<Here's what we said (on our website) about money accepted for deposit
into the Citizens' Fund For The Right To Know:
"Every penny contributed to this fund goes to pay legal expenses remaining
from the trial as well as continuing expenses related to the appeal
process-paralegals, transcripts of testimony, etc-only the direct expense of
this lawsuit. Jane and Steve receive none of these funds for their
We have painstakingly kept that promise. And although your skepticism in
this regard has yet to be raised by even a single donor to date, you may report
that any one of them is welcomed to a full accounting of every dime expended
from that account.>>
And what was the essence of John's report to his readers?
<<When confronted with the (real estate) records, Wilson last week refused
to disclose any
accounting of money he collected for the lawsuit.>>
So, if you managed to stay awake long enough to decipher the entire diatribe he
posted here, I hope you'll view the quality, accuracy and fairness of his
reporting in the context of how he handled our response to that issue….and, as
always, Jane and I will be happy to answer any questions from anybody with an
interest in our situation.
Sugg writes to the list
thing Wilson fears the most is scrutiny. His claims of how the money was used do
not equate with audited statements. And, let's not forget: A jury did not
believe him, and an appellate court said his case didn't belong in court.
"Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity
in the context of professional journalism."
-- Hunter S. Thompson