Miller immediately complained on his blog, Photography Is Not A Crime, that the Herald was being biased and maintained that he had advised Afshar of the case dispositions.
I went into great detail, explaining how I was acquitted of all charges except resisting arrest after my 2007 arrest, then had that conviction overturned after I appealed it pro se.Most readers who have been following SFDB know that I'm not a big fan of what Carlos Miller does. His mission of establishing photographer's rights sometimes degenerates into nothing more than seeing how far he can go before provoking a police reaction. Indeed, the instant case did not even technically involve photography but rather tested the operational boundaries staked out by police.
I explained to her that the state attorney’s office then dismissed the charge instead of refiling the charge.
I also explained that I was acquitted in my 2009 arrest when the cop failed to show up to court on two occasions. I also told her that even though I was initially charged with disorder intoxication, the state attorney's office switched it to resisting arrest because they had no evidence that I was drunk.
Be that as it may...
As most people already know, the Miami-Dade County Clerk provides online access to criminal and civil cases. When you research Carlos Miller's cases, this is the progression of screens that you follow.
There are only two Carlos Millers....
Click on the one without the middle name...
Click on the 2009 case...
Click on the 2007 case...
And there you have it. The dispositions of the cases. Easily accessible, in black and white and "Known."
There's not one conviction there.
Miller maintained in an email to me this week that he made sure that he advised Ms. Afshar of this fact during a telephone interview.
I remember she asked me specifically the outcome of my cases. I remember I was driving and I pulled over to the side of the road so I could have a clear conversation with her. I remember telling her not to hesitate to call me if she had any questions, no matter what time of the day or night it was.So given the easy availability of the case information and Miller's advisements, the question then becomes why did Paradise Afshar and the Herald's editor allow the story to be published with clearly erroneous and inaccurate information, i.e. that the court dispositions are unknown.
I thought the best person to ask that question was Ms. Afshar. But despite having a very active Twitter presence for the last week, Afshar failed to respond to 2 emails to her Herald email account and 1 Twitter direct message that I sent her. As Miller explains, Afshar and the Herald haven't been very responsive to any one regarding this story...
I wrote a letter to the editor on Friday clarifying the Herald's "outcome of these cases are unknown" statement but it has yet to be published.
My attorney sent her a scathing email on Friday but she never responded.
A reporter from the Poynter Institute who covers media issues is working on a story about it. He said he emailed her but she never responded.
|Via East Word|
When you read a newspaper you hope that you're getting all the facts as they're known when the story is reported. Nothing should be intentionally ignored, omitted, changed or covered up.
Either Paradise Afshar and the Miami Herald intentionally ignored or omitted some material information in this story or we have another fine example of just how bad the Herald can be when it comes to researching and reporting the news. While it's not good news for the Herald [pun intended] either way, it's even worse for people like Carlos Miller who deserve fair, accurate and balanced treatment from their hometown paper.
[The Herald story in its entirety appears below...click to enlarge]
7:00 PM...the Miami Herald has corrected the story to reflect the case dispositions.
In addition, Andrew Beaujon from Poynter.org, finally got someone at the Herald to talk to them about the story.
Afshar declined to speak about the article and directed me to her editor on the story, Pat Andrews. “We should have said The Miami Herald doesn’t know the outcome of those” arrests, Andrews says. “We had not checked the records to know the outcome of those cases.”A couple comments are warranted here, I believe.
Andrews says the mistake is a consequence of newsroom economics. “This, unfortunately, is happening to our industry, especially with a newsathering organization like us.” When it comes to story like Miller’s, Andrews says, “We gotta hit it and move on.” And indeed, the fact that the Herald published a piece about Miller’s arrest three weeks after it happened suggests editors there didn’t think Miller’s arrest was the burning issue he did.
One, Ms. Afshar had more than enough time to tweet away when she could have being spending the five whole minutes it took me to fully research Miller's arrest history. But forget that for a minute and recall that Miller had verbally advised her of those dispositions and still the story went to press with the inaccurate info.
Two, I would suggest that if a story falls into the "hit it and move on" category, maybe that story isn't worth doing if the Herald staff can only do a half-assed job on it three weeks after the fact.
Carlos Miller comments.
March 2, 8:00 AM
The Herald has issued a correction to the story...
It shouldn't have to be so hard.