Bill Palmer w_a_palmer at BELLSOUTH.NET
Wed May 19 14:26:56 UTC 2010

Dave, he confessed, which I don't believe Jewell or Hatfill ever did, in
fact I know they didn't.

No media report that I know of suggests that his guilt is a law enforcement

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dave Wilton" <dave at WILTON.NET>
Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 9:58 AM
Subject: Re: Legalistics

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Dave Wilton <dave at WILTON.NET>
> Subject:      Re: Legalistics
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> Journalists will drop the qualifications when he has been convicted in a
> court--whether via jury verdict or plea agreement (i.e., confession in
> open
> court). The qualifications are simply a protection against libel, as well
> as
> being technically true. Just think back to Richard Jewel and the Atlanta
> Olympics bombing or Steven Hatfill and the Anthrax mailer as to why the
> qualifications are necessary.
>>There is no reason to believe he is falsely confessing.
> Really? There are lots of nuts who confess to crimes they had nothing to
> do
> with. It's not that I doubt the confession in this case, but professional
> journalists at respected media outlets get the basic facts of stories
> wrong
> on a daily basis (e.g., Judith Miller of the NYT or any news article on
> linguistics you've ever read), and it's not beyond law enforcement to
> crucify a person in the media whom they "know" to be guilty. Judging guilt
> or innocence through the filter of the media is not a reliable way to
> work.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
> Of
> Bill Palmer
> Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 5:14 AM
> Subject: Legalistics
> Is there a lawyer in the house? Or a journalist?
> Faisal Shahzad has reportedly confessed to being the Times Square (almost)
> bomber.  There is no reason to believe he is falsely confessing. Yet every
> media source refers to him as either the Times Square bombing "suspect",
> or
> the "alleged" Times Square bomber.
> At what point can we drop the qualifications, and call him what he has
> confessed to being?
> Bill Palmer
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