Does the Hartford Courant owe its readers a duty to check the back story of people it quotes? I’m thinking, of course, of the bit of dirt I dug up today on a Mr. Edward Culligan, who the Courant merely identifies as “one of the protesters” before proceeding to give him a paragraph of fame. It took less than a minute for me to Google the guy and discover that he’s a convicted child molester, living across the street from the New Haven Green. The Courant could have done the same thing and, had they added that bit of color it would have provided readers with a better insight into who some of these demonstrators are and what their goals are.
So far, the press has treated the Occupy group as representative of some amorphous class of deserving poor folk, yet every time you dig into their individual stories you find rapists, drug addicts, drunks and unemployable college graduates with degrees in Women’s Studies. I suspect the press has done the same investigation I’ve done and came up with the same results and hence its silence.