[Update II, 10.08pm: An important post from Craig Henry, asking an unanswerable question: apart from the occasional exception--Jason Whitlock--why have the MSM been so lax in calling Roberts to task on what her demonstrable errors of fact in her lacrosse columns says about her credibility? Or even--and I know it's a lot to ask--actually asking her some specific questions on the central thesis of her March 2006 column--that her portrayal of the team's "culture" explained why team members hadn't cooperated with police, even though the captains had cooperated with police and the players' attorneys volunteered to share all their info with local authorities. As Henry says, it seems like upholding the MSM "guild" is more important than revealing the truth.]
[Update, 12.32pm: A further thought on Roberts' motives. The question in evaluating the Roberts statements on her lacrosse columns is whether she is (1) an incredibly sloppy journalist, someone who tosses out wild charges without any evidence to back them up; or (2) willfully deceptive. (Neither explanation does much to help the credibility of the anonymously sourced items in Roberts' A-Rod book.)
Along these lines, it's worth noting that in her most recent appearances, Roberts dropped one of her most preposterous claims: that the "cultural" critique of her March 2006 column was justified because the players had posted "pornographic" photos of Crystal Mangum on the "internet." The photos, of course, weren't public when Roberts initially wrote on the case; and became public only when defense attorneys gave them to the media to established a documented timeline that proved Mangum was lying.
Rather than acknowledge that she made an absurd claim to rationalize her writings, Roberts appears to have just dropped the argument. I guess some slanders are too outrageous even for Selena Roberts.]
Selena Roberts continued yesterday her National Mendacity Tour, this time speaking to WEEI, where she again lied about what she wrote in her infamous March 31, 2006 column on the lacrosse case.
Roberts began by again claiming that she wrote merely about the “culture” and not the “crime”; later in the interview, she all but taunted her hosts to look at her guilt-presuming March 2006 column.
There are only two explanations for this regular refrain from the Mendacity Tour: (1) Roberts does not remember what she wrote in her March 31, 2006 column, and, for reason for reasons unknown (carpal tunnel syndrome?), has been unable in the past several weeks to take the 45 seconds necessary to re-read the column; (2) Roberts is lying about what she wrote.
Roberts has also reinvented the past in another way, positioning herself as an outspoken crusader against Mike Nifong—whose conduct she’s addressed, she said, “a thousand times.” Indeed, she told the WEEI hosts, Nifong was “absolutely” motivated by political concerns.
Yet any listener who went to the web to locate these “thousand times” when Roberts denounced Nifong would need to look long and hard. Indeed, Roberts addressed Nifong twice in print. In her March 31, 2006 column, she presented the authorities (and, at least implicitly, Nifong) as heroic crusaders for justice. In her March 2007 column, written long after the case had collapsed, she compared Nifong to Columbo, the beloved TV detective who bumbled his way to the truth. That’s hardly a comparison that would suggest to most readers that Roberts believed Nifong had actually done anything wrong (unless, of course, Roberts harbors a secret dislike for Peter Falk).
Then, in perhaps the most extraordinary element of the interview, the host asked Roberts about whether she at least felt regret for including Reade Seligmann in her campaign of character assassination. She admitted that she “didn’t write about” the fact that Seligmann was shown on an ATM video at the time of the alleged “crime,” but had no problem with what she did write about the members of the team—including Seligmann. She claimed that quotes from her columns had been taken “out of context,” but refused to say how.
And, in an extraordinary example of chutzpah, this former Times columnist—the same woman who published a column with factual mistakes (that she has refused to correct) and innuendo that presented a false portrayal of events the evening of the party—is, according to Deadspin, mad at the Times for not running a correction that pleased her regarding an article that disputed her pitch-tipping conclusions about A-Rod. Just incredible.