Monday, November 9, 2009

AZ Student Newspaper Theft Kerfuffle Misses the Real Issue

The editor of the Arizona Daily Wildcat has a pretty awesome rant on the opinion page regarding the suspected theft of thousands of copies of an edition of the paper to hide a 269-word item in which a woman reported she had been drugged at a Phi Kappa Psi party. The editor Shain Bergan, wrote today,

Let’s run through the stupidity, shall we?

First, Nick Kovaleski and Alex Cornell leave their homework at the dump site. Where’s the Spanish teacher in all of this? Then Phi Psi leadership—that’s you, Keith Peters and Daniel Levy—come to the Wildcat offices wanting our evidence, and then slink out like the rats you are when we ask you to go on the record. Minutes after you left the offices, you placed a call to the University of Arizona Police Department claiming someone who looked like they might work for the Daily Wildcat was found dumpster diving at your house the previous night. That guy, you claim, is actually our 60-year-old production manager who found the homework.

No one’s buying this crap.

A fraternity worth a damn would have raised holy hell after the Police Beat item went out, shouting its innocence from the hilltops. But you didn’t shout your innocence, did you, Phi Psi? Instead, you snuck into your cars in the wee hours of the morning and decided to hide the information at the source—by stealing thousands of the very newspaper that printed an item where a woman claimed you might have drugged her.

If anything, Phi Kappa Psi made things worse for themselves. What would have been a forgettable Police Beat item has turned into a firestorm picked up by news outlets local and national.

Well, Phi Psi, you got off scot-free. All of the legal and judicial avenues have been exhausted. Only one thing left for you to do—grow some balls and confess already.

Let’s call a spade a spade. You stole our newspapers. I don’t even want the $8,500 back. I just want your names and faces forever associated with censorship and idiocy.

Sadly, this incident only gained notoriety when the paper was stolen. It's important to remember here that the real story is that someone at this fraternity drugged a woman, possibly with the intention of raping her. It's also pretty terrible that members of the fraternity were allegedly willing to steal so many papers, but it's mostly terrible that a woman got drugged in the first place.

Cross posted.

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