Don’t Touch That Dial

Cronkite Endorses Site for Socially Conscious Press Critics

That ankle bullet, and its corresponding "Wound S," is a hotly disputed piece of evidence, and three of the papers gave some indication of the complicated debate it inspired between prosecutors, who say it proves Diallo was shot while down, and defense lawyers, who introduced crime scene photos to dispute that allegation. But the Post's Laura Italiano skipped the complexity, mentioned Wound S only in passing, and failed to flag it as key to Cohen's thesis.

The Post's illustrations didn't shed any more light on the issue. Rather than placing a diagram based on the coroner's testimony next to the text of the article, as the other three papers did, the Post ran a crime scene drawing on page one, accompanied by the headline, "Deadly Barrage." The drawing showed 17 bullet wounds, with no indication of entry and exit points, and no clear representation of the controversial Wound S. Two foot wounds were missing altogether. Thus, the Post buried Dr. Cohen's entire thesis.

The bias returned in a February 13 story, which the Post illustrated with two diagrams showing the opposite directions Diallo's body might have turned as he was shot. (Clever lead: "It all comes down to spin.") At the end of the story, Italiano finally introduced readers to "Wound S," wrapped in a swaddle of defense rhetoric.

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