Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Consider the Source

Who is Buzz Beeler?

That is the question I am asking myself at 5:42 this morning.

You see, a friend sent me a link to a hair-raising newspaper article but what struck me (after recovering from the initial shock) was that I had never heard of the source: the Baltimore Post. When I went looking I discovered that the Post appears to be basically an aggregator page for articles taken from other sources, with some local free-lance articles thrown in. It has an amateur feel to me.

A bit of searching brought me to a Twitter account for the Post run by Charles “Buzz” Beeler. (78 followers)  And then, a website for Mr. Beeler. Oh my. This man is truly throwing himself into his retirement. And I’m guessing he is not a specialist in social media and/or website creation.

None of this answered my question of how the writer of the article, Ann Constantino, would have had access to the details she used in the writing of this article. Is this kind of information available to the public as a part of a police report? Would the Baltimore Post have press credentials? And why haven’t other outlets written about this incident?

I found a reference to Ann Constantino on Twitter, from a man named David Plymyer:

I hate the fact that I am saying this, but if you want to know what is really going on in the Baltimore County government, read the Towson Flyer or the Baltimore Post.  Kris Henry of the Flyer and Ann Constantino of the Post are putting in the effort and reporting the stories....

And another from Colleen Ebacher:

Excellent, hard-hitting story by Ann Constantino about big money influence in Baltimore County and Baltimore City politics--and how people are fighting back. Thank you @baltimorepost! 

Here is her bio from the Baltimore Post website. So she appears to be a real person and not, say, a nom de plume of the aforementioned Mr. Beeler. 

There is much to shake one’s head and tut-tut over the story being shared on social media today. The photo which leads off the article is arresting enough unto itself. It’s the digital equivalent of rubbernecking at a crash scene. I get that.

I’m just not going to comment on the piece itself until I learn more about the source. I’m peculiar that way, I guess. If you’re going to set up shop and call yourself  “Baltimore’s Premiere News Publication” you should expect some public scrutiny. 

I’ll let you know what I find out. 

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