Monday, August 11, 2008

Why did AvWeb remove the Wagstaff story

AvWeb has Patty Wagstaff's version of the events which led to her being charged with drunk driving during AirVenture.

Air show pilot Patty Wagstaff is denying "rumors" that she was impaired by alcohol when she was taken into custody by Winnebago County Sheriff's Department officers late July 31 on a runway at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh. She told AVweb she was not tested for alcohol impairment during the incident. A report in the Green Bay Press Gazette last week said the Sheriff's Office has asked the Winnebago County District Attorney to press first-offense drunken driving charges against her and it will be up to the DA to decide whether the charge will proceed. "I do deny the allegations," she told AVweb. "And I did not do a breath test, a blood test or a field sobriety test." Although we still don't know all the details surrounding the runway incident, Wagstaff has provided AVweb with the following statement

AvWeb describes the incident as "rumors" even though the District Attorney confirmed that, yes, charges against Wagstaff were filed.

Nobody loves a good media mystery more than people in the media, so here's the thing: Why did AvWeb remove the original story from its site?

I sent an e-mail to Russ Niles, who wrote the "rumors" entry today, and appears to have written a story on Friday -- since removed -- that indicated Wagstaff may be charged with drunk driving.

Re: Wagstaff. Can you tell me why an article you wrote last Friday about Wagstaff is no longer available?

You mention the charges are "rumor" but the GB Gazette says they were filed. And it sounds like your story of last Friday said they were filed.

Bob Collins

Russ wrote back:

First story said the same as this one, which is outdated. We'll be updating it tomorrow.

But the headlines -- via Google -- seem to shift the severity of the allegations. In one, the one posted, the headline is Wagstaff Denies Impaired Driving 'Rumors' and the one that was removed says Wagstaff May Face Drunk Driving Charge.

It would behoove someone working on this story to call the DA and find out if charges hve or have not been filed.

1 comment:

  1. certainly is an interesting question.

    This will be a good one to follow. If she wasn't actually charged then it was a case of really bad reporting.

    Regardless, removing the article hints that they screwed up.