Let's see if I understand this. On Wednesday, Nov. 28, the Register publishes a top of the front page headline story, "Who killed this horse?" describing the unfortunate killing of an Egyptian Arabian. There is speculation and unverified allegations about the cause of death, a high powered rifle and a drive-by hunter. (Talk about inducing panic!) The next day the Register publishes (not at the top of the front page) headlines that the horse's death was an accident -- the horse impaled itself on a manure rake. One day later, the following editorial comment in a "humbs-down" to the alleged drive-by hunter is published saying, "quite aside from the confusion over whether he was responsible for the death of a Townsend Township family's beloved horse -- which turned out to be a tragic accident -- this strikes us an irresponsible way to hunt."
Quite aside that the drive-by hunter is still a fiction, release of the original story and the use of the drive-by hunter 'thumbs-down' comment to bury the "confusion," strikes me as irresponsible.
The Register says that its editorial view represents majority opinion. I won't go there further other than to ask what are the checks and balances for the release of a story. Management needs to put in place processes to assure credible stories, confirmed facts and the elimination of obvious errors before going to press. Is publishing a controversial story before a deadline, no matter what the content or accuracy, more important than getting it right?
By the way, it was Roger B. Smith, former CEO of General Motors, who recently died, and not as headlined Robert B. Smith (Saturday, Dec. 1 Register). And the televised game between Cleveland and Arizona was at the University of Phoenix, Phoenix and not at the University of Phoenix, Cleveland (Sunday, Dec. 2 Register).
Joseph R. Bransky
Editor's note: There have been several reports of a man hunting from his vehicle, so we're not ready to declare him a "fiction." And the first investigator on the scene reported the horse as having a bullet wound.