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Posts Tagged ‘Newspaper

New York Daily News and Stephanie Gaskell Get It Wrong

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The New York Daily News reported yesterday that rocker Bruce Springsteen had filed a lawsuit against Connolly’s Pub & Restaurant for copyright infringement. Seems that the Manhattan eatery had not paid a licensing fee to The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP,) which is required when a venue hosts live performances.

The article reported that, “He (Springsteen) claims the bar hosted a band on Aug. 9, 2008, that performed three of Springsteen’s hits – and charged customers a cover fee,” thus violating copyright law.

After reading the article, I too, like many others felt truly disappointed. After all, how many dive bars and seedy seaside joints had Springsteen himself played back in the beginning of his career that probably never even thought of paying a licensing fee? How could this self righteous rock and roller who preaches Rock and Roll Salvation from his stage, cast the first stone when he himself is not without sin?

And then a miracle……Well not really……Just a retraction.

The New York Daily News today reports that Springsteen demanded his name be removed from the lawsuit. It appears that Springsteen had no knowledge of the grievance which was actually filed on his behalf by ASCAP.

Both stories were written by New York Daily News staff writer Stephanie Gaskell. Gaskell starts off today’s story with, “Someone pulled a fast one on the Boss.” Really? It would appear that Stephanie Gaskell and the Daily News pulled a fast one on its readers.

How does a reporter write a story without checking its validity? How do the editors allow a story to go to print that is completely erroneous? Where is the accountability? Where is the integrity?

Gaskell wrote in her first article that Springsteen had “no comment,” which would imply and lead the reader to believe as I did, that Springsteen was asked, and had no comment. Had Springsteen actually been asked, he would have killed the story right then and there because as was later reported, he had no knowledge of, and wanted no part of the lawsuit.

So the question is this; just when did Ms. Gaskell know that her story was complete fiction? Did she actually try to get Springsteen’s opinion; either from him or his publicist? Did ASCAP make it known from the beginning that they had merely filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Boss?

The story has become the story and the moral is this; we should never believe that which is written in the press and reported in the news without first looking further.

If the New York Daily News was truly concerned with the integrity of its paper, Stephanie Gaskell would’ve been fired immediately.

Unfortunately we live in an age where integrity is seldom valued and fiction sells more than fact.