Thursday, July 03, 2003

Lions of Summer
I don't know what to make of the supposed Lion on the loose out around Mason, Ohio. The credibility of the man who is the only person to have seen the animal is a bit suspect:
Andy Lawson said he first encountered the lion Sunday night, when it made a grunting racket outside his trailer. The lion returned, sniffing around his trailer, the following night.
Video of Mr. Lawson did not ooze with credibility. WLWT's story, including video, lists a poll asking "do you believe him." There is confusion on the actual name of the person who stated he saw the lion. The UPI story quoted above reports his name is "Andy Lawson", but both the WLWT and WCPO's stories refer to him as "Casper Lawson." The Post agrees. The Enquirer agrees with the UPI. WXIX's web sit took an early vacation, with no coverage of the story. WKRC’s article only referred to the witness as a "resident." Who is right? Well, according to a search of the Clerk of Courts Web site the man's first name is Casper and middle name Andy or Andrew. I would assume he goes by his middle name. I sure would not want to be called Casper.

A simple fact in a story could in the end cause an Andrew Lawson trouble if Casper Lawson's story does not pan out, and he is discredited. Imagine what happens with a story that is more serious and more complicated, like a murder for instance. How often does this kind of fact variation happen on that type of story? A little clarity by all outlets might make sense, especially when this story goes national with the UPI and Washington Times.

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