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Taser's Claim About Reviewing Unpublished Arizona Republic Articles Fails Logic Test

In documents filed with the Securites and Exchange Commission, Taser claims it negotiated a deal with the Arizona Republic and USA Today for review of Taser articles prior to publication, according to an article by the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Journalistic ethics forbid such prior review.  

The newspapers deny the allegation, and the claim by Taser seems rather silly in light of a quote by one of Taser's lawyers in the CIR article.

In one SEC filing, Taser wrote:

In February 2006 the parties entered into a stipulation for dismissal with the understanding that the USA Today and the Arizona Republic would review articles regarding the TASER device with us prior to publication.

In defending the claim, Taser general counsel Douglas Klint reportedly showed a letter to CIR saying the parties only agreed that if the newspapers and the Scottsdale company acted professionaly toward one another, then Taser would agree to make its representatives "available for comment."

As CIR reports:

Klint said the word "comment" implies that the company would review stories prior to publication. "How in the world can we comment on a story without them reviewing the story with us?" he reasons. "We can't comment on something we can't review."

Oh, sure. And maybe "comment" also implies monkeys will fly out of Klint's butt.

Add this together with the fact that Klint admits no stories were ever reviewed prior to publication, and Taser's claim disappears like (choose your own witty electricity reference to complete this sentence). -- Ray Stern

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern