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KGW corrects misleading part of road rage story

Posted by on August 30th, 2007 at 3:10 pm

A commenter just pointed out that, in response to concern from the community, KGW has published a correction in one of their stories about the road rage incident on SE Clinton Street on August 17th.

In two recent posts, I pointed out my concern that KGW’s story was perpetuating the incorrect notion that cyclist Ben Ramsdell kicked the driver’s car before the collision. In reality, this is merely a claim made by the driver (who faces four counts of felony assault). When I followed up with a Police spokesman about it, they told me their investigators found it not to be true.

Here is the original version of their story that I found misleading:

Police say the driver, Johnny Eschweiler, had road rage and deliberately hit a different bicyclist who kicked his car.”

Here is the updated version of the same paragraph as of 10:30pm last night:

“Police say the driver, Johnny Eschweiler, deliberately hit a different bicyclist who the driver claimed had kicked his car. The cyclist denies kicking the car.”

I’m glad they’ve made this correction on at least one of their stories. Unfortunately I doubt many of the people who originally heard this will notice.

Thanks to everyone who wrote in and voiced concern. I hope they are more careful and sensitive in the future.

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Comments
  • SKiDmark August 30, 2007 at 3:23 pm

    They forgot that the POLICE FOUND NO EVIDENCE THAT THE CAR HAD BEEN KICKED.

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  • tonyt August 30, 2007 at 3:31 pm

    Yeah, ditto there SKiDmark. That would have been the better correction. Along with an acknowledgement that they misreported it earlier.

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  • brian August 30, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    day late, dollar short.

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  • tonyt August 30, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    This may seem picky, but I don\’t know if technically that qualifies as \”publishing a correction.\”

    It seems to me that they corrected their story.

    Publishing a \”correction\” usually means that they say, \”we made an error, the facts are actually thus and thus.\” Or something of that nature.

    They have made no admission of error.

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  • patrick August 30, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    Not to mention I think Ben posted on here and said, \”I did not kick the effing car\” or something along those lines.

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  • Me 2 August 30, 2007 at 3:50 pm

    Jonathan is probably right that while they\’ve changed, the general public probably won\’t notice. Most people have moved on. However, pointing it out and holding KGW accountable is the right thing to do.

    Next time, and unfortunately there will probably be a next time when it comes to a car vs bike news story, they\’ll put some thought into what they report.

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  • rixtir August 30, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    The damage is done on this one.

    BUT…There will be a trial, and the issue will be raised at trial.

    And the media will report on the outcome. Maybe, just maybe, because they\’ve been taken to task on this story, they will be more conscientious about their reporting on follow-up stories.

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  • Minda August 30, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    The damage is done, I guess, but am I naive in thinking that people will agree with us that it doesn\’t matter whether or not he kicked the car? Nothing excuses or justifies deliberately running someone down, and I think any jury will agree.

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  • John Boyd August 31, 2007 at 8:06 am

    Johnny Eschweiler, had road rage
    This irks me too. As if his rage was only temporary and due to road conditions, not a severe psychological disorder.
    Not much temporary about it when insanity is lethal.

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  • DK August 31, 2007 at 8:20 am

    Need to know more about Eschweiler, and has his c. a. attorney told him to keep quiet? Seems if his car was truly kicked, he\’d be singing like a bird.

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  • Cøyøte August 31, 2007 at 8:44 am

    John Boyd that is an excellent point. To label it like that trivializes the act. It was a brutal assault on two citizens, to label it road rage is like calling it PMS. All of the sudden it becomes an understandable syndrom of our times……car-headed bullshit….CHBS?

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  • Martha S. August 31, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    I agree. \”Road rage\” seems to be viewed as an acceptable and almost inevitable condition that all people get and, sometimes act on in this culture. As I\’ve said before, people piss me off on the road too, but I don\’t have an urge to smash them with large blunt objects, much less ACT on the urge.

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