BREAKING: The Post Posts Pics

More To Come?

In a curious posting, The Washington Post has uploaded pictures of the Swann Street defendants with short biographical sketches.

Accompanying the photos is this text:

The Wone Case: The Players

Washington lawyer Robert E. Wone was stabbed to death while a guest in the Dupont Circle townhouse of Joseph R. Price, Dylan M. Ward and Victor J. Zaborsky in 2006.  Nobody has been charged in the case.  Here are short biographies of the four major players in the story: Wone himself, plus Price, Ward and Zaborsky. (Credits: Compiled by Paul Duggan; produced by David P. Marino-Nachison. Last published May 24, 2009.)

Note that this is dated May 24. 

Can we expect a story to splash in Sunday’s edition?

29 comments for “BREAKING: The Post Posts Pics

  1. Lance
    05/21/2009 at 9:49 PM

    I don’t think the posting is that “curious”. In fact, to my mind, it confirms something I’ve been saying for a while: the fact that local media like the Post hadn’t been covering the case wasn’t in any way a cover-up or some sort of pro-gay or anti-Asian bias. They weren’t covering the case because there wasn’t actual news about the case.

    A Google search turns up articles from:

    2006: 8/3, 8/4, 8/15, 8/23, 10/8, 10/14, 11/8, 11/16, 12/05 (plus an obituary, a crime report, and a letter to the editor)
    2007: 8/4, 8/11 (i.e., a report on the anniversary of his death to say “there is unfortunately still no news”)
    2008: 10/30, 10/31, 11/20, 11/21, 11/25, 12/19
    2009: 1/16

    In other words, they reported on the case whenever there was anything to report (and, in 2007, even when there wasn’t). That’s pretty much what I’d expect a newspaper to do.

    Now that hearings are beginning to herald the arrival of the trial itself, the Post has put up biographies, which I suspect indicates that they intend to report on the news now that there’s news. (At least, I hope so. I mean, I agree that local DC news ought to cover this case; unlike some people here, though, I don’t fault them for not doing so when there was nothing to say.)

    • SwannStObserver
      05/22/2009 at 8:00 AM

      I agree entirely with Lance here. There has been no shortage of appropriate mainstream media coverage of the Wone murder, as the facts of Lance’s research demonstrate.

      What we have not seen, perhaps, is the kind of coverage that rises in the minds of the editor–and, sadly, a growing percentage of the public–to their definition of adequate coverage. From reading elsewhere on this blog, it’s patently clear the editors are enamored of the kind of crime-as-pop-culture dung heaped higher on us each day.

      The editors, clearly bathing in the filthy water of DC flackery, have come to confuse local murders with national or regional media sensations, murder scene photos with “Apartment Therapy” fodder, victims as racial zoo animals, and, yes, tragedy as blog dish.

  2. Craig
    05/21/2009 at 10:04 PM

    Lance – A online newspaper photo spread with no acompanying story that’s date stamped for three days in the future, and can’t be found when searching the Post website is curious to me.

    If the Post does indeed run a story in this Sunday’s edition, then look for the story online around 10pm or 11pm Saturday night.

    • SwannStObserver
      05/22/2009 at 8:03 AM

      Oooooh, what an insider tip. Wow, newspapers tend to upload their Sunday content the previous evening.

      I’ll bet you’ve actually believed a client to be impressed with this information.

      • Craig
        05/22/2009 at 8:19 AM

        Swann St Irritant Observer – I will ask you to keep my day job/occupation out of your flames.

        And on the day you decide to use a real name here rather than hide behind a nick, we can talk about my profession off line. Use the contact link to reach out if you’d like to continue this conversation.

        • SwannStObserver
          05/22/2009 at 9:27 AM

          You guys have relied upon your professional backgrounds in “media” elsewhere on this blog, and in interviews with other media, to support your work here. You placed it in the discussion, but now want it carved out.

          You have an interesting take on journalistic standards. But we’ve gotten used to that already.

          • Michael
            05/22/2009 at 11:12 AM

            SSO –

            Say what you want, but it appears that you have dedicated the time to visit and read not only the posts but also comment regularly. You have chosen to read and comment, which is very interesting considering what you are saying about your feelings towards this site. Go Figure.

            • SwannStObserver
              05/22/2009 at 11:17 AM

              You’re absolutely right.

              Bye. Off to read real coverage at Legal Times Blog.

  3. CDinDC
    05/21/2009 at 10:39 PM

    If you go to the washington post archives and enter “robert wone” and August 1, 2006-today (2 years, 9 months), you’ll get 23 hits.

    If you go to the washington post archives and enter “chandra levy” and May 1, 2001-February 28, 2004 (2 years, 9 months), you’ll get 367 hits.

    If Robert had been sleeping with a congressman, perhaps his death would have gotten as much attention as Chandra Levy’s death did.

    For whatever reason, it’s not being covered.

    • Lance
      05/22/2009 at 3:52 AM

      On the one hand, I think you’re absolutely right about “sleeping with a Congressman”–the murder of Chandra Levy was genuinely somewhat more newsworthy insofar as it involved a public figure.

      And on the other hand, I think that statistic actually just shows that the Chandra Levy case was over-covered, not that the Wone case is being under-covered.

    • SwannStObserver
      05/22/2009 at 8:06 AM

      PROOF POSITIVE that tabloid “all-team coverage” overkill is the calibration for normal in the minds of the editors.

      Just wait until a celebrity is mugged on 14th Street. They’ll start comparing Lexis/Nexis stats to that.

      Here’s a better exercise: how many of those Levy articles were informative (as opposed to revenue generating)?

      • CDinDC
        05/22/2009 at 8:52 AM

        Lance says: “the murder of Chandra Levy was genuinely somewhat more newsworthy insofar as it involved a public figure.”

        So “GENUINELY [emphasis added by CD] somewhat newsworthy” to you involves individuals with fame or infamy (i.e. a congressman)?

        No wonder Robert Wone’s death gains only modest attention…..he was a regular guy.

        That, Lance, is the ugliest thing I’ve seen you leave on this board yet.

        Go get a shovel to dig your way out of that arrogance.

        • SwannStObserver
          05/22/2009 at 9:42 AM

          Oh spare us your drama and get off your hind quarters, CD. Lance was simply pointing out the obvious: in an increasingly tabloid-ized media culture, the involvement of a congressman sleeping with an attractive young female murder victim is fuel for increased coverage.

          • CDinDC
            05/22/2009 at 10:00 AM

            Speaking of hind quarters….

            • SwannStObserver
              05/22/2009 at 10:02 AM

              Go get a shovel to dig your way out of that arrogance.

        • Lance
          05/22/2009 at 3:30 PM

          No, seriously, I stand by what I said.

          Which is more newsworthy: me visiting Europe, or Barack Obama visiting Europe?

          Which is more newsworthy: me cheating on my wife, or John Edwards cheating on his wife?

          Which is more newsworthy: me accidentally shooting a friend in the face, or Dick Cheney accidentally shooting a friend in the face?

          The absolute fact of the matter is that any event, positive or negative, is more newsworthy when it involves a public figure such as a politician. So which is more newsworthy: someone being murdered who was sleeping with his wife Kathy, or someone being murdered who was sleeping with a Congressman? So, yes, it’s absolutely the case that the death of a “regular guy” gets less attention. How much national media attention was given to the death of J.D. Tippit? (The Washington Post lists 41 articles in the year following his murder; admittedly it wasn’t local to Washington, but they nevertheless ran many, many more articles about the more notable, dare I say newsworthy, person who was murdered around the same time.)

          I am not saying that Robert’s death was any less tragic than Chandra’s; I’m not saying that his killer was any more justified than Chandra’s; I’m not saying that his family deserves justice any less than Chandra’s. I’m talking only about what the media will–indeed, perhaps even should–cover more.

          And note that you did leave out a crucial word when you said “GENUINELY [emphasis added by CD] somewhat newsworthy” . In what I said, “somewhat” doesn’t describe the degree to which it’s newsworthy–I didn’t say that Levy’s murder was somewhat newsworthy, whereas Wone’s murder wasn’t. “Somewhat” describes the degree to which it’s more newsworthy: I’m saying they both are newsworthy, but that to some degree, a murder where a Congressman has a connection to the victim is a little more so.

          (Disclaimer: I have never actually cheated on my wife, visited Europe, or shot anyone in the face.)

  4. Josh
    05/22/2009 at 12:07 AM

    I have watched with interest this website for a little while and, while the stated purpose might be a good one, it actually does a tremendous disservice to our system of justice. The comments by the “editors” are heavily biased against the defendants under the pretext of attempting to assist, but in reality, all this is doing is tainting a potential jury pool. Whatever your personal beliefs are about this case, these people deserve a fair trial, without speculation from amateurs and wannabe detectives. Yes, the First Amendment protects you legally. But do not be fooled, you are NOT helping the system of justice, such as it is. Now I await to be blasted.

    • Dog Bite
      05/22/2009 at 11:07 PM

      I don’t recall this Web site being promoted as anything other than amateurish and speculative. And I think you seriously overestimate the site’s reach if you think that it’s tainting a jury pool as big as DC.

      • Craig
        05/24/2009 at 12:51 PM

        Doggy – Your comment went into the spam box for some reason so it’s just surfacing now.

  5. Bea
    05/22/2009 at 12:56 AM

    No “blast,” Josh. I disagree that a website like this “taints a jury pool” – if it were being covered by any news outlet (and likely will at some point) the same information would flow. I want the defendants to have a fair trial, as I assume most here want as well. As for “speculation from amateurs and wannabe detectives,” that’s one way to look at it but another is that I (for one) have received information on this site which wasn’t otherwise available, and I’ve done my best to offer relevant information as well. I think the “blast” lies in language like ‘wannabe detectives’ – maybe you’re wanting a fight, but this topic comes up periodically, and for me, it’s kind of ‘been there’. Some topics, and some posts, may be less germane to uncovering the truth about that night than others, but that shouldn’t be surprising. And sometimes it’s the least likely clue that uncovers the most relevant information. If you want to join in, please do.

    • 05/22/2009 at 8:06 AM

      fabulous, bea; just fabulous. looking forward to updates today and possible post coverage sunday?

  6. Fascinating
    05/22/2009 at 9:33 AM

    I still think that this blog is a natural, internet-age extension of what we all do normally anyway when there’s a “juicy” murder story in our neighborhood. It’s just online now, instead of talked about at picnics or public gatherings or during drinks after dinner.

    And I still don’t feel guilty for playing armchair detective here. Bea’s right: this blog won’t dirty the jury pool any more than a TV story on FOX about the murder would (which would probably have more viewers).

    Finally, the entire case — in my opinion — is compelling *because* of the defendants statements, the timeline they are alleging, and the whole obstruction of justice charge.

    Seems like the justice system is working just fine, since we can access these publicly available legal documents and follow the case since — for many of us — it happened “down the street” in our neighborhood.

  7. CDinDC
    05/22/2009 at 10:03 AM

    What’s a blog without a few curmudgeons?

  8. alithere
    05/22/2009 at 10:07 AM

    I agree with Fascinating. This blog has been very balanced unless the meaning of “balance” implies that exculpatory evidence need be invented to offset the incriminating circumstances. If there was an intruder, it may well have been Mary Poppins–flew in and out on an umbrella, did her business and then left everything and everyone (the dead and the quick) “spit-spot” clean. Otherwise, the facts suggest that it was murder precipated by “games” gone horribly ary.

    • CDinDC
      05/22/2009 at 10:19 AM

      Love the post alithere. Mary Poppins. Priceless.

      I do have to make a comment about the “games gone horribly ary” though. A lot of people say that. Sex gone wrong.

      But this is murder. Flat out. Regardless of what precipitated the stabbing, it resulted in murder.

      Games gone awry are a black eye. A bruise. Not stabbing someone and letting them bleed to death.

      People are softening this horrid event by saying that. Call a spade a spade. It’s murder.

      • CDinDC
        05/22/2009 at 10:49 AM

        Lest we forget the alleged drugging and raping. That not sex games either.

        • Bea
          05/22/2009 at 12:31 PM

          Agree, CD. It may have begun with something “going awry” but ended with three stab wounds in the chest. Murder.

          • CDinDC
            05/22/2009 at 12:37 PM

            Seems more like rape gone awry.

    • Fascinating
      05/22/2009 at 11:13 AM

      LOL, “spit-spot”.

Comments are closed.