Trans fact

By ADAM REILLY  |  May 20, 2009

But that's the reasoning of an advocate, not a journalist. The question for the press is this: does the newsworthiness of certain facts depend on considerations like who's reporting them or whether they make a certain population look good? Or, instead, does it stem from the value of the facts themselves? If it's the former, it suddenly becomes a whole lot trickier to report the news.

Special status
One more Quinn-coverage item of note: the only journalist to assert a causal connection, however indirect, between Quinn's trans status and the Green Line crash was WTKK-FM talk-show host Michele McPhee. Reporting at abcnews.com, McPhee — citing anonymous sources — said that Quinn got his job because of exceptional treatment, in the MBTA lottery, for transgender candidates. MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo disputes this; in a statement, he called McPhee's report "inaccurate," and says that Quinn "did not make any claims that would afford him special status." McPhee is standing by her story: she says Pesaturo hasn't yet responded to a Freedom of Information Act request — sent twice, she tells the Phoenix — for detailed information on when and how Quinn got his job.

Mairead Reilly (no relation) provided research assistance for this column. To read the "Don't Quote Me" blog, go to thePhoenix.com/medialog. Adam Reilly can be reached at areilly@phx.com.

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