WNYC News ran a report, "The Orthodox Nonprofit That Maybe Isn't Corrupt After All" on Thursday, January 23, 2014 by Robert Lewis, reporter. The report had little new information about an organization that was criticized anonymously in the Moreland Commission investigation into public corruption.
Relief Resources, a Borough Park mental health service was accused of taking public money and providing no services. It turns out that they do provide services. The services may not be efficient - but I have a hard time seeing the service as a corrupt entity.
"Corrupt" is a weasely word to begin with. A more specific term like illegal would be better - if indeed there was any illegal activity connected with Relief Resources. And there is not.
And so here we go. Robert Lewis titles his story in the most weaselly way I have seen in a long time: "The Orthodox Nonprofit That Maybe Isn't Corrupt After All." Throw in gratuitously that they are Orthodox - but omit that it is a mental health service. That's not impressive. Then add the word "Maybe" - aren't there rules in journalism preventing the use of weasel words in title? "Maybe Isn't Corrupt" - shouldn't that be "appears to be honest."
I'd say the title of the article ought to be, "Brooklyn Mental Health Service Unfairly Accused of Corruption Turns Out to be Legitimate."
(UPDATE 10 PM: WNYC HAS CHANGED THE HEADLINE. IT NOW READS, "Do-Nothing Nonprofit" Actually Does Stuff. MY PROPOSED HEADLINE IS BETTER. "DOES STUFF" IS NOT A PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTIC DESCRIPTION. BUT HEY AT LEAST THEY SORTA LISTENED.)
Maybe the Moreland Commission and Governor Cuomo aren't corrupt either. They surely aren't doing a good job going after real corruption. So hmm, I wonder if we should look into the Moreland Commission and find out who told them where to look for corruption - and who told them where NOT to look for corruption. (Were the exact words, "Go get me an Orthodox rabbi. That lately makes good headlines.")
I'm going with the conclusion that journalist Robert Lewis writes weasely poorly researched stories and I am still not sure that maybe he isn't incompetent and unprofessional.
(Hat tip to my special source.)