Back

New York Post buries its abuse error

December 25, 2017 by norman lebrecht

24 comments.


The tabloid newspaper waited until just before Christmas before publishing a story which admits that its allegations about Joseph Colaneri were fundamentally unfounded.

The paper published a denial by the Met staff conductor, together with a statement by Mannes School of Music that its investigation showed he was not involved in the dismissal of the woman who claimed he sexually harassed her.

The woman, who was the Post’s sole source, is known in music circles for false complaints against colleagues.

The Post has not named her.


Comments (24)

  1. Theodore McGuiver says:

    The woman, who was the Post’s sole source, is known in music circles for false complaints against colleagues. The Post has not named her.

    But just about everyone else on Slipped Disc has. Happy Christmas!

  2. norman lebrecht says:

    I think you have just said your goodbyes.

  3. Bruce says:

    Fortunately (I guess), this case “only” involved a conductor, not a nationally recognized politician. If it had been someone more famous, the Right would have seized on it as an example of the utter bankruptcy, sloppiness, and unreliability of mainstream — i.e. liberal — media, as well as the unbelievable nature of sexual harassment allegations in general.

    Hopefully the NY Post (and others) will learn from this experience, and Redacted Crazy Lady, like Jaime Phillips in the Roy Moore false accusation case involving the Washington Post, will go down in history as someone who unintentionally helped the cause of journalistic integrity.

    1. Bill says:

      Bruce, even that well known liberal media outlet, Breitbart, has conceded that Moore’s accusers are telling the truth.

      And for the record, the New York Post is owned by Rupert Murdoch. It’s hardly known as a “Liberal” media outlet. But it is well known for its sloppiness.

      1. Scotty says:

        I don’t think Bruce is saying that Moore’s accusers are lying. Jaime Phillips is the woman who tried to trick the Washington Post into publishing her intentionally fake accusation against Moore hoping to embarrass the paper. They figured her out and exposed her as an employee of a right wing tricks organization.

        1. Robert Hairgrove says:

          +1

  4. harold braun says:

    But,of course,SD was among the first first to name and shame Mr.Colaneri…

    1. norman lebrecht says:

      And the first to point out that the allegations are unfounded. Are you waiting for an invitation to leave this site?

      1. roger says:

        lots of us are waiting for you to issue that invitation Norman. happy Christmas!

        1. The Voice from America says:

          Yes, that poster above has become tiresome of late …

  5. Charles Fischbein says:

    Hate to repeat myself but in the 1980s before leaving journalism for a grad degree in historical musicology I worked for ten years at a major Washington DC national newspaper.
    Nothing,changes in big city news.
    Everyone rushes to be first with a story.
    Little if any fact checkung, fabricating stories that will please the publisher to sell ad,space.
    .Today I find it worse.
    Living in rural Virginia on the West Va border I actually find the small county papers much more honest than big city papers.
    It is more difficult to slant a story on a zoning hearing or county fair.
    I get to NYC many times a year during tbe Met season and am astounded when I grab a copy of The Post and New York Times.
    Even the old,established wire srrvicrs,AP and UPI play loose with facts.
    I don’t know what is taught in today’s schools of journalism but certainly not three named sources before giving copy to your editor.
    When retractions,are written they appear hidden on back pages.
    Where does a man or woman go to get their good name back
    At least in the case of Levine there are,well documented sources going back decades
    Sad

  6. Edward Alley says:

    Those of us who know Joe knew it was a false accusation from the beginning, but the “unnamed” accuser gets her free ride and Joe has that very unearned dirty spot forever. I think Mr. Lebrecht should do a bit of source checking himself before he contributes to a smear. Merry Christmas, Mr. Lebrecht, I’m sure you still sleep well at night, in spite of your bias. Edward Alley, Sarasota, Florida.

  7. Edward Alley says:

    Those of us who know Joe knew it was a false accusation from the beginning, but the “unnamed” accuser gets her free ride and Joe has that very unearned dirty spot forever. I think Mr. Lebrecht should do a bit of source checking himself before he contributes to a smear. Merry Christmas, Mr. Lebrecht, I’m sure you still sleep well at night, in spite of your bias. Edward Alley, Sarasota, Florida.

    And now I’m accused of a duplicate comment. Self-Serving filters, eh NL?

  8. torinese says:

    Some of you folks are taking NL to task for doing what “aggregator” news sites do all over the web. Yes, it needs re-thinking, and Norman, I do think you erred by linking to the first Post story without skeptical commentary right up front. It was egregiously under-sourced and full of red flags on the face of it. (They quoted the accuser about colleagues too afraid of repercussions to back her up? a professional reporter would need to hear that *from the colleagues,* even if they remained unwilling to go on the record.) But lapses like that link are endemic to this field, and SlippedDisc is not the worst offender by any means. What needs to come is a communal discussion of ethics and responsibilities as aggregators (from Google News on down) increasingly serve as the gateway to traditional news sources, and as semi-journalistic advocacy sites like Drudge on the right and Huffpost on the left come to *replace* serious news organizations in many readers’ lives. We speak casually of things “going viral,” and it’s as well to remember that viruses can be deadly.

    1. norman lebrecht says:

      We did signal a red flag in posting the story. Not to have posted it once it was online would have been seen as a cover-up.

    2. Stephen Moore says:

      The best way of ending such scurrilous stories is through legal action. In the UK a little while ago the late Lord McAlpine, wrongly associated in the press with historic child abuse, prosecuted many who re-published stories or hinted at them. The English courts rejected the defence that the stories were already in the public domain, so many folk had substantial sums to pay in compensation and legal costs – including one woman who published a seemingly innocuous tweet about Lord McAlpine trending. More care should be taken by journalists and bloggers before they destroy someone’s life.

    3. Vaquero357 says:

      Yes, in fairness to NL, he’s reporting what other outlets are reporting…..Sometimes with an extra-juicy headline to get us to click {;-)

      I always click through to his source to make an assessment as to its reliability.

      Aside from some very informative comments from NL readers, the other sign that the Colaneri story was suspect was that the Times and other major outlets did not pick it up.

      1. Stephen Moore says:

        Reporting what others’ have printed is no defence in English law.

  9. Bill says:

    You’ll be laughed out of court. I’ll make popcorn.

    NL owes you no duty to provide access to his audience.

    1. roger says:

      absolutely true. Norman is sovereign on his own blog. He can post what he wishes and he can exclude anyone he wishes to exclude.

  10. Stephen Moore says:

    Did Mr Lebrecht know before re-publishing the allegation that the accuser was ‘known in music circles for false complaints against colleagues’? And has he apologized on this blog yet? Has he contacted Mr Colaneri to apologize?

    1. Freddynyc says:

      No need to – I’m sure Mr Colaneri’s attorney will be umm reaching out soon……


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *