Well, our campaign to alert the mainstream media to Franklin Baxley’s false narrative based on an extremely misleading viral video is going just about as well as one would expect – which of course, is not well at all. Personally, my emails have been uniformly disregarded, but this gem of a reply from the NY Post’s Chris Perez was forwarded to me last night:
What. The. Fuck.
1- IS YOUR CAPS LOCKS BROKEN BUDDY?
2 – This is the face of the man we should be trusting to represent journalistic integrity?
3 – Since when is looking past a 3 minute video to get the deeper story in any way racist? I’d call that “journalism”, but what do I know? I’m not the one all over the internet covered in Doritos and jelly. We’re clearly dealing with a seasoned pro here, who answers emails with liberal use of bold and italic prints and ALL CAPS YELLING.
Super professional of you, Chris.
Let me break it down for you, and I will do my best to use words you can understand. I won’t be switching up fonts or jamming on the caps locks, however, because I want to set a good example for you, Frito Face.
“Dog Park Diane” is sourced directly from the purported “victim,” Franklin Baxley. Yes, he qualifies as a primary news source, and was eager to go on the record. He was right there and recorded the video. However, there were two other individuals present that day, and their account is markedly different.
Now, I didn’t go to school for journalism, Chris, but I understand the basis of good investigative reporting – “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” Meaning, don’t be cynical per say, but be skeptical. Particularly when dealing with social media and viral videos – please check out my work on “Help Us Save Mikey“, another emotionally charged viral video that, when put under a little scrutiny, came back as total bullshit.
Then, while interviewing Mr. Baxley, we picked up on his argumentative and aggressive nature, that was reflected (although framed as frustration), in the video he released. Furthermore, during the interview, he openly admitted to disregarding several of the dog park’s posted rules, which was also briefly touched upon in the video, although framed to be simply his dog humping another dog. The police officer can be heard warning Mr. Baxley of the potential consequences of his conduct, and Mr. Baxley ultimately leaves the park. This should be enough for anyone with a little common sense to have some pause in the story as he presented it initially. Particularly because it supports the two other parties’ involved account of the incident. But apparently, not enough for you.
Then we started getting off-the-record tips flooding in, portraying Franklin as an aggressive, threatening man who has a long history of harassing women. As they came from multiple apparently unrelated sources, we looked in to it, which lead us to his lengthy criminal record, which further substantiated the claims through primary sources – court and arrest records. We observed his behavior online when questioned about the true nature of the events at the dog part and his motivations, and it was – surprise, surprise – aggressive and threatening. All this cumulatively just further supported the two women’s version of events, and discredited his.
No one ever claimed that either woman was aware of Mr. Baxley’s criminal history, or should have been – that’s insane and presumptuous. Then again, so is labeling a woman a vengeful, petty racist based on a 3 minute, 23 second video clip that does not even document the entire incident. But, you’re the journalist here, right Chris? Sure, being accused of racism brought hordes of harassment down upon “Dog Park Diane”, just like it did in every other instance of alleged racially motivated cop-calling reported on, but who cares about ethics and accurate reporting, amiright? White people calling the police on black people gets mad clicks, yo!
We then uncovered actual video evidence of Franklin Baxley involved in a violent, misogynistic attack against a girlfriend. Maybe you’ve seen it, but probably not, because you seem utterly opposed to doing any real work on your stories. Fret not, Chris – I did it for you.
I’d tell you how I tracked down the video, Chris, because it’s a great story about doing some real investigative work – but unfortunately, Uncle Turtleboy doesn’t pay me to do webinars for lazy charlatans who churn out screed in ALL CAPS. Sorry.
And finally, we were able to track down leads that proved pretty definitively that Franklin Baxley’s criminal past wasn’t just his past, but his entire lifestyle. And within a matter of days it was proven that we weren’t wrong, considering Baxley is currently cooling his heels off in jail.
I don’t understand how any of this can be “racist”, Chris, considering it is all well vetted, well researched proven fact. Yeah, if we had simply said “This black guy must be a violent, sexist, drug dealing degenerate” without any basis to form that opinion, it may be. Just like assuming “This white woman calling the cops on a black guy means she hates all black people and is a vapid, histrionic racist” is extremely racist and sexist. You know, like you did with your racially charged headline:
Which really wasn’t even the story here. It reads more like, “Out of control man with lengthy history of violent and criminal behavior refuses to abide by posted dog park rules and harasses woman until she calls police.” But that would require real work, and investigation, which apparently is “racist” in 2019. Go figure.
Then again, I don’t know what we’d expect from a writer who works for the children’s menu of the mainstream media. The NY Post is a tabloid magazine often criticized for sensationalism and failure to fact check. In a 2004 Pace University survey it was the only news outlet to receive more responses calling it “not credible” than credible (44% not credible to 39% credible), and has a World Press Freedom Rank of 45/180 – not great, you guys. We’ll just go ahead and add Chris’s repugnant response to the mountain of missteps piled against the entire publication, because, I suppose given the NY Post’s standards, his article was “factually accurate” enough. They’re not well-known for fact checking or accurate reporting.
The mainstream media really is the enemy of the people. Chris Perez just proves it even more. They can be bought and sold into political and social biases, and profit off stoking the fires of tension and division that are steadily tearing the fabricate of society to shreds. It’s unfortunate when mistakes are made in the rush to report in the digital age – but it’s unconscionable to refuse to correct those mistakes out of sheer hubris and complicit apathy. I’m looking straight at you, Chris, and the all the others who, to date, cannot even be bothered to look in to any of this or reply.
What can we expect from a “journalist” who thinks publishing public record is equivalent to “doxxing” Franklin Baxley? Please, I’m embarrassed for you. How are you going to report on anything if you can’t even work a Google search to understand the definition of the terms you use in an email? Report on us, I dare you. I’d appreciate the support, and the attention to the fact that with no formal education in journalism, and full-time jobs to contend with outside of writing, everyone here at Turtleboy is endlessly better than you.
Chris Perez can be reached at [email protected] or (212) 930-8624 if any of our readers have any input of their own.