No comment? Or just lie?

February 8, 2011

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff spokesperson Rob Bryn

OPINION By DANIEL BLACKBURN

In the wrenching aftermath of the deeply disturbing slaying of teenager Dystiny Myers, local news reporters encountered a virtual blackout of details from investigators. So when KCCN.tv published an account last October relating some of the last terrible moments of the girls’ life, some of those law enforcement officials apparently were not pleased.

The original KCCN.tv report centered on the existence of surveillance video recordings showing a pickup truck with a camper shell in which four suspects were holding the Myers girl. She was still alive but could be seen being beaten in the truck’s bed, according to sources who had seen the tapes.

The tapes also showed two Pismo Beach police officers, apparently on break and standing near the convenience store, watching two suspects who entered the store.

But rather than simply remaining quiet and issuing the appropriate “no comment” in response to KCCN.tv’s report, a decision was made somewhere along the chain of command to create a new reality. To fabricate. To equivocate. To prevaricate. To falsify. And consequently to render a version of facts different from those which KCCN.tv had reported, then feeding the resulting palaver to other local media. Which the other local media readily printed and breathlessly reported on-air.

Testimony now emerging from preliminary hearings for the suspects corroborates KCCN.tv’s report in its entirety.

In preparing the October report, KCCN.tv contacted numerous sources , each having a particular and professional interest in the case. Each was able to impart different factual elements to the story. One of those contacted who verified much of the key information was Jeff Norton, chief of police in Pismo Beach, who expressed concern about the two officers’ “unfortunate situation” and said they didn’t want to be interviewed.

A reporter visited the Chevron station where the incident occurred. A brief interview with the store’s clerk was conducted.

The number of surveillance security cameras both inside and outside the convenience store was noted. And the story was fact-checked just prior to going on-line with a source whose knowledge of the case was current and whose record for honesty is impeccable.

In other words, KCCN.tv’s story — we were certain — was entirely accurate.

So we were startled to read in the Oct. 14, 2010 Tribune a story by reporters AnnMarie Comejo and Cynthia Lambert which attempted to repudiate every salient fact in the KCCN.tv report. Why, at this point, wasn’t someone’s journalistic curiosity piqued upon encountering two starkly conflicting versions?

The misinformation fed to The Tribune and KSBY by someone in law enforcement  included the assertions that the two Pismo Beach officers didn’t arrive at the Chevron station until 10 minutes after the suspects’ truck departed; that surveillance tapes didn’t show the truck; that only two suspects were in the truck; and that Pismo Beach police had not viewed the tapes. None of this was true.

The Tribune and KSBY disputed KCCN.tv’s reporting just as a local judge issued a complete gag order on participants in the Myers case, which effectively silenced the issue… until now.

The sheriff’s department’s “information office” has been the source of much misinformation on this case, right from the very first day. Someone over there apparently thinks it is okay to lie to the public. Someone over there needs to heed the words of seventeenth century writer Samuel Butler: “For truth is precious and divine… too rich a pearl for carnal swine.”


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Paso_Guy

Sheesh


standup

After all the years of putting up with Hedge’s antics costing the county millions of dollars because he was too ignorant to do his job in the best interest of the public, we now seem to stuck with Ian who is no better. He needs to earn the public trust and quick or we need to start the recall on him. There must be some candidate out there who is not a good ole boy. These guys are the real criminals in the way they treat us.


HRMKJ

Who is KNNC.tv in Paragraph 4?

“in response to KNNC.tv’s report,”


If you can’t even proof your own blog, how can you make people believe you know what your talking about?


Dave

“your talking about?’


Don’t you mean “you’re talking about?”


Good proofing begins at home.


Cindy

By the way, It’s KCCN.tv and you certainly should have spelled that correctly after you just saw it spelled how many times?


BeenThereDoneThat

Like I have said here before, when someone has NO ARGUEMENT or ANYTHING worthwhile to say they start complaining about grammer and spelling. HRMKJ just admit up front that you have NOTHING worthwhile to input here and go on your way little boy/girl


SanSimeonSam

Dear HJERKMK3

You have made an interesting, pointless, totally worthless and inaccurate observation. I have it on good authority (Rob Bryn) that this report did appear on both KCCN and KNNC.tv. Please do appropriate research before making a fool of yourself. I feel much dumber for having read you’re comments and with me that saying a lot.


danika

Excellent job, Dan! Thank you for looking out for truth and keeping us informed.


Dave

Don’t forget that Rob Bryn and Tribune executive editor Sandra Duerr are both members of the Wednesday Rotary Club in San Luis Obispo.


Kevin Rice

“Journalists should: Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.”


-Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics


bobfromsanluis

I wonder how many more times the skeptics of Cal Coast News and KCCN tv are going to jump to the wrong conclusion when a controversial story is broken by them? Every time, their reporting, their fact gathering and checking ALWAYS haven been proven correct, but the skeptics continue to cast doubt almost every time a story hits a little to close to home. Sheriff Parkinson, on another thread I pointed out how you have a real chance to differentiate yourself from your predecessor (Pat Hedges) by showing you are going to be different, react differently and effect some real “change” in you department. Letting Rob Bryn shuffle off to “spend more time with his family” would show the citizens of San Luis Obispo county that you are truly effecting change in your operation. His time has come and long gone, so should he be.


TacomaRose

First off, The Tribune should be embarrased for attacking another journalist (probably a competition thing). Cornejo and Lambert should both apologize.


But the bigger picture here is the deception that came from within the Sheriff’s Office. Brynn is a snake who will tell the truth if it serves him or he will tell a lie if it serves him. Remember that this is Parkinson’s go to boy and you can all get ready for more BS the likes you have never seen before.


Brynn gets paid over 70,000.00 annually and what does he offer the press? … He feeds them them misinformation. He shouldnt be classified the PIO (Public Information Officer) but rather the PMO (Public Misinformation Officer)


Get ready to watch Parkinson run interferance for his buddy.


I will add that I feel for the Pismo Police Officers who must feel horrible that they were caught up in this horrific story. I suspect they just didn’t recognize the situation at that moment and then later, it became a painful reality.


slorealitycheck

Let us not forget that he will be drawing a pension from the his city stint and as soon as he has done his time at the Sheriff’s he will be collecting two. You know Parkinson will be keeping him around.


This case is disgusting. I Also feel for those officers. Either way they missed it and possibly could have saved her.


Kevin Rice

Parkinson is too young to receive a pension. Further, I’m betting you have not truly researched whether his county service will start a new pension or add service time to the first. Please re-post when you have specific knowledge.


jev5010

They are separate pension systems. SLOPD is in CalPERS, and the Sheriff’s Department is a 1937 Act system.


Kevin Rice

Point taken–however, many systems allow credits to be carried from one to another. Not really sure how it all works, but I am questioning seemingly blind accusations.


rathat1

Once a person entrusted to “serve and protect” is caught in a lie, all past or future statements are suspect.Even testimony given under oath has to be scrutinized.


willie

Few tell it like it is in fear of attrition or being bashed

Mr. Blackburn, you have my highest respect.


danika

To whom ever gave this comment a thumbs down: Dan Blackburn should have everyone’s highest respect for his truthful reporting. To disagree with this means you are probably one of the liars involved in this case.


Kevin Rice

Ouch! Nice quote, Dan! Perfectly on target.