The July 4th Knucklehead of the Day Marathon Part Twelve
Our 12th winner is the newspaper USA Today. They get the award for their recent note to their readers. Over a month ago they did a frontpage story about the NSA having a phone call database. Phone companies Verizon and Bell South denying their parts in the story.
The denial was unexpected. USA TODAY had spoken with BellSouth and Verizon for several weeks about the substance of the report. The day before the article was published, the reporter read the sections of the article concerning BellSouth and Verizon to representatives of the companies and asked for a denial before publication.USA's 'correction' is very weak. How many times do the companies have to say no before it gets through this publication's thick head.
At the time, BellSouth did not deny participation in the program, but it issued a statement saying the company "does not provide any confidential customer information to the NSA or any government agency without proper legal authority." Verizon said that it would not comment on national security matters and that it acts "in full compliance with the law" and with respect for customers' privacy.
On May 15, BellSouth said it could not categorically deny participation in the program until it had conducted a detailed investigation. BellSouth said that internal review concluded that the company did not contract with the NSA or turn over calling records.
For a shoddy apology after shoddy journalism, USA Today is our 12th Knucklehead of the day.
Labels: Knucklehead of the Day