Reg Schwenke (TBS editor/publisher) and Dave Allen (PDH sports editor), have access to the same facts (Schwenke lives in Las Vegas and Allen works in Provo) and arrive at two radically different "takes" on how it is to be reported? "> Reg Schwenke (TBS editor/publisher) and Dave Allen (PDH sports editor), have access to the same facts (Schwenke lives in Las Vegas and Allen works in Provo) and arrive at two radically different "takes" on how it is to be reported? ">

A Tale of Two Cities … er, um, Agendas

Frankly, this Provo Daily Herald reporting mess reminds me of author <b>Steven Covey's</b> statement, "We do not see the world as it is, but as we are." How do two persons, <b>Reg Schwenke</b> (TBS editor/publisher) and <b>Dave Allen</b> (PDH sports editor), have access to the same facts (Schwenke lives in Las Vegas and Allen works in Provo) and arrive at two radically different "takes" on how it is to be reported?

If we took a step back, it looks like the Provo Daily Herald has a far different agenda than TBS. All of us have filters to help us process information, by limiting part of the data flow.

Schwenke's consistent view as TBS publisher has been to be right in their reporting and not necessarily first -- even though they are first many times.

Honor Code issues and discipline are not new at BYU and the coaches and school officials have a carefully worked out process to preserve the privacy of any who might stand accused. The purpose of the Honor Code process is "hate the sin, love the sinner." If you strip away privacy, it means that judgment and punishment is all they are interested in. The truth is the Honor Code office is interested in integrity, correction, and especially HEALING.

It seems TBS' policy on confidentiality is very similar to the policy of BYU's Honor Code office and even coach Gary Crowton. TBS is NOT working at cross purposes with BYU and, in fact, supports proper enforcement of Honor Code violations – that is not a public stoning in the town square for all to stop by and spit in the face of the accused.

The Provo Daily Herald must have a different agenda. Curiously, their first article "breaking" the story – which TBS principals knew about at least a week before, but held off while it was under investigation by police and school authorities – was published on Feb. 4, national letter of intent day. The story was picked up by the Associated Press that same day. Potentially, it could have influenced athletes not to sign and send their legally binding letters of intent in that day. Fortunately, it didn't. Still, you have to seriously wonder about their timing and motives.

The Provo Daily Herald's actions seem to indicate the accused athletes are not persons with rights to privacy, but public objects who have no intrinsic value.

This latest problem with the Herald continuing to report a prior rape allegation that police have confirmed has been recanted in writing by the girl, suggests a series of issues. At the very least, it is:

* not professional
* a failure of accountability at the Provo Daily Herald
* shows a lack of quality control by executive editors over a work product before something is published
* ineptness at some level
* incompetent
* shows undue pressure for getting "some" story out there by a deadline, regardless of current facts

Those are the kinder possibilities. I am not the judge of when malice or mean-spiritedness enters in to the equation. At some point, the motive of the persons continuing to promote incorrect, knowable facts becomes the inescapable conclusion.

First-time mistakes can happen and when it happens and harms someone, those mistakes should be addressed up front with an apology – followed by change in attitude, policy and procedure. It should not happen again to any person accused in this case or in future cases.

Does the Provo TV market get Jerry Springer or has the Provo Daily Herald decided it wants this niche of the market as well? The publisher and editor of the Herald need to decide what kind of newspaper they want to have. Someone should say what their clear agenda or objective is.

On the other hand, maybe the Herald has the kind of Honor Code reporting that they actually seek (controversy = increased circulation?) -- that certainly looks, smells, walks and talks like mean-spiritedness and something bordering on malice.

If it walks like a Jerry Springer tabloid duck and talks like a Jerry Springer tabloid duck, maybe it is a Jerry Springer tabloid duck. Has the Provo Daily Herald decided it wants some of the National Enquirer market in Provo?

Have they no shame?

Dave Allen may be a mile or two from BYU and Reg Schwenke may live in Vegas, but Schwenke is a lot closer to BYU where it really counts. The Herald is seemingly on a different planet. TBS' reporting is different than the Herald partly because they each have a different gut agenda.

In addition, it needs to be said that Jeff Reynolds, Duff Tittle, Vale Hale, the athletic administration staff and the BYU coaches should be commended for vigorously trying to protect the privacy of the players in their charge.

There are wise reasons for this emphasis on confidentiality and privacy. I believe it goes back to the whole purpose of the BYU Honor Code process: correction AND healing AND keeping the Honor Code bar high, but reachable.

Thanks to TBS' staff for trying to keep the Jerry Springer type poison out of its message board discussions and reminding us that we need to keep the bar high ourselves. Anybody can mimic a Jerry Springer. It takes no brains or decency; just a mouth or a keyboard.

It looks like the Provo Daily Herald doesn't know the difference – not until we see a front page retraction. Don't hold your breath.

I learned on my LDS mission that the Navajo language has one word for blue and green, as if blue and green were the same color. For a native speaker, they do not see two colors there, but one blue-green color.

Can the Provo Daily Herald distinguish between "inept" and "malice?" I'm waiting for evidence.

© copyright by

Total Blue Sports Top Stories