Conspiracy theories and lazy fact checking

When people are looking for the truth, a lot of them end up cultivating conspiracy theories.


Here is an interesting comment from the Blog across towN. (my emphasis added)

Ten days ago, Yahoo Sports broke the story, which I thought was pretty big: A direct, specific allegation that Tim Floyd was seen giving at least $1,000 to Rodney Guillory as a payoff for directing OJ Mayo to the Trojans. Floyd has said nothing in the interim. Garrett has said nothing in the interim. USC’s lawyer said what lawyers always say – “We can’t comment” meaning she didn’t want to comment.
In the past ten days, the Times has done essentially nothing. There was a story on the story – with a question mark in the headline. Then there was a Q and A between Adam Rose (USC alum) and Craig Penrose (USC Alum). What a shock – Penrose saw absolutely nothing wrong. There is a nice children’s story called “The Emperor’s New Clothes” which was a lot like that interview. We also heard it a lot from Sgt. Schultz on Hogan’s Heroes.

That's from an email sent by one the resident legal scholars over there to Plaschke attempting to take the LAT to task for not "reporting" the Floyd story.

I'm wondering where they get was seen; where has that been reported? That's right, nowhere! This is an utter fabrication and exposes an obvious bias, not that we should be surprised.

But wait! It gets better: Plaschke responds not once but twice and his responses are surprisingly sharp and informative (emphasis added to drive the point home)...

From: “Plaschke, Bill” <>
Sent: Saturday, May 23, 2009 1:08 AM
Subject: RE: USC Basketball

“the charges were made by a felon who is trying to sell a book…he is the only source…I’m not personally involved in it, but I’m guessing that we need more than one biased source to publicly crucify a man..if it were your reputation on the firing line, you would feel the same way..”


That is pretty significant, wouldn't ya say?

Here is Plaschke's second response after the sly old fella tries to bait Plaschke by "dressing him down" in response to Plaschke's response (again, emphasis added)...

“From: “Plaschke, Bill” <>
Sent: Saturday, May 23, 2009 7:26 PM
Subject: RE: USC Basketball

So you think we’re NOT pursuing the story?..You think we HAVEN’T been calling people?…You assume that because we don’t write a story, we’re not checking out all leads?..We chase things hard, and it’s a sign of the potential weakness in this story that, for all our chasing, we have yet to find someone to corroborate.

Where have I been on this? I’m the Times’ lead general sports columnist, meaning I cover the biggest story. If you read our newspaper or website, you would know that the Lakers are my town’s biggest story. If I’m not covering them through the playoffs, then THAT’S a story.… I’m sorry you are so bitter about this, and cannot afford me the same respect that I have afforded you, but, hey, I understand, that’s how the world works these days


Game over!

The last paragraph is classic. Bitterness consumes this crowd to no end. After a while, listening to these guys is like hearing one hand clapping. I only bring it up because Plaschke articulates what many SC fans have been trying to say. I don't even consider myself a huge SC supporter; in fact, I was raised a UCLA fan by my UCLA-grad dad but some of the bile over at the Blog across towN is just pathetic. I don't want to be part of that crowd and just reading some of their posts is enough to make me feel like I need a shower. As Paragon has said many times, they have a great history and are a fine university with nothing to be ashamed of and plenty to celebrate. It's beyond me why some of their supporters act so insecure. But it's this kind of insecurity that makes fertile ground for these lame conspiracy theories.

I don't often agree with Plaschke; in fact, I frequently despise his goofy one-line paragraphs and may never forgive the way he ran a previous Dodgers GM out of town. But I have to admit he is dead on here. No worthwhile news organization is going to ruin their own reputation without having backed up a story of this magnitude with legitimate sources. And the LAT will not sit around and do nothing if there was a legit story of this magnitude. Plaschke does an excellent job of exposing this guy as nothing more than a hater with an agenda... is anybody here surprised?

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Conquest Chronicles' writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Conquest Chronicles' writers or editors.