A Journalist Unjustly Accused in LA

What does this mean to the average technology user? It means that NOT EVERYTHING YOU READ OR HEAR ON THE INTERNET IS TRUE!! We often take Internet news as fact. The truth is that the Internet is not always accurate. Here’s the story of a journalist who was unjustly fired and tried on the Internet only to reveal that he was innocent. 

Ted Rall, a fellow journalist who works with me at a website called ANewDomain.net was recently fired from his job as a columnist at the L.A. Times. Ted is an award-winning cartoonist, essayist and author. At issue is a blog post that he wrote to accompany a May 11, 2015 cartoon for the Times. It was about an announced LAPD crackdown on jaywalking. It the post, Ted recounted the day back in 2001 when he was ticketed for jaywalking in Los Angeles. Rall state that he was innocent of the charge. He also recalled how he was shoved, handcuffed and coarsely treated during that incident.

Shortly after the release of the cartoon and blog, The Times obtained an audio tape of the incident from the LAPD. Although several minutes of the tape were inaudible, what was heard was the officer being polite.

Ted Rall was accused of lying about the incident to make the police look bad. Not only was he fired, but he was inundated with Twitter accusations and email insults. When Mr. Rall had the audio tape enhanced by audio experts, it showed that he had not lied, he was handcuffed and a crowd of people could be heard in the ensuing commotion. Ted Rall was vindicated so the personal taunts stopped, but he is still fighting for his reputation.

You see on the Internet people tend to rush to judgement. And that rush often becomes an irreversible landslide. Because of the scope of the Internet and ability to reply instantly, many things are said that should never be uttered. Lashing out at others is too easy on the Internet. Believing in half-truths and outright lies is also too easy.

You can read the entire story as well as listen to the tape both before and after the enhancements at ANewDomain.

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