Closet Scandal or Over-Blown Story?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

As a journalist or reporter, sometimes your job requires you to reveal truths about skeletons in people's closets. Well what if that skeleton is literally you.

At the beginning of this week, journalist Scott Powers of The Orlando Sentinel was selected as the pool reporter for a private fundraiser for Democratic Senator Bill Nelson. Little did he know he would miss out on most of it.

Vice President Joe Biden was headlining for the fundraiser. His team decided that they did not want Powers mingling with guests before the Veep arrived. So according to various news sources on the internet, "they cosigned him to a storage closet - and stood outside the door to make sure he didn't walk out without permission; Scott Powers was locked in the closet for about 90 minutes and was only allowed to hear Nelson and Biden deliver their remarks."

This, however, is not completely accurate. I thought that this was a juicy story at first, but I rememberd what Brian told us about always checking facts, so I looked up this guy and actually found a story told from his perspective...

On his page at, I found out a little more of his side of the story and how it seems that this story has been blown out of proportion by the media. He quotes, "I was kidnapped. That's news to me... In fact, a lot of details circulating through the blogosphere --- and some mainstream media -- about my coverage of Biden's fundraiser visit last Wednesday were news to me."

"Take a couple details of information, toss them into the Internet and it can become like a child's game of telephone -- with each rendition adding spin and detail. Only in this politcally- charged environment, those spins and details can crystallize toward a scandal," says Powers.

I feel like that quote is extremely true. It's easy to take the first thing you see, or even the first few things you read and take them for truth, but if you actually dig deep you may find evidence on the contrary. This is another example where you always need to check your facts or you'll end up looking dumb in return when you're fooled by over-blown media stories.

Photo Credit: CreativeCommons, World Economic Forum.


Morgan Fleener March 29, 2011 at 11:19 AM  

Many writers today like to add extra details to their writing to make stories seem more appealing. This article is a good time to remind writers to always state the truth in your stories and to take into account the effects you could have by not doing so. Make sure you clear your story through sources you use and follow the traits of a good writer.

Alexa Smith March 29, 2011 at 5:14 PM  

I read this article and was shocked to think a journalist would be locked in a closet. It's sad to see how information can get distorted and change the facts.

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