Sunday, September 06, 2015

Free at last

Robert Parry is one of the few reporters who get it. Do due diligence to get the facts regarding any given story before publishing it, something the NY Times has forgotten at times since Punch Sulzberger left the scene as scion of America's most important newspaper. To that end, Deflategate dominated the football scene to such an extent that even BRT posted blurbs about it, citing Robert Parry's excellent take on why the case was shaky at best when the story broke 7 months ago. As stated in BRT, it matters not what team or quarterback was "possibly" aware about the "possible crime" of people deflating footballs, what matters is the validity of the case, something completely annihilated by science (the ideal gas law) and a judge who gets it when Judge Richard Berman set Brady free from a NFL kangaroo number the NY Times accepted as gospel prior to the ruling and facts of the case given out on Thursday.

It’s been my experience from nearly four decades in Washington journalism that it’s increasingly rare when a powerful institution protects an individual from unfair and abusive treatment by another powerful institution. The U.S. District Court decision throwing out the National Football League’s kangaroo case against New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was one of those exceptions.

I realize that some readers feel that I should not have “wasted” time examining the scientifically flimsy case known as Deflategate or observing how the NFL’s supposedly “independent” investigation slanted what little evidence it had to support the league’s initial rush to judgment and harsh punishment of Brady. One reader joked it was just a case about men and their balls.

And I initially had no intention of writing about this topic. But I noted a disturbing haste in the conclusions about Brady’s guilt and I then read the Wells report last spring out of curiosity. What I found in it was what I had seen in so many other bogus investigations that start with a conclusion and make the “facts” fit.

My annoyance also didn’t stop with the NFL. It extended to the news media, where – from The New York Times to ESPN – the NFL’s case was accepted as unassailable and Brady was casually denounced as a cheater and a perjurer. Considering how much ink and time were devoted to this overblown Deflategate “scandal,” there was almost no serious examination of the actual evidence.

The question to ask here is, would the Pentagon Papers be published today by the NY Times? Somehow, I rather doubt it.

Click here to read the ruling, courtesy the NY Times. :)

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