INCONSISTENCIES EMERGE IN SCHUYLER’S ACCOUNT
Posted by Mike Florio on March 4, 2009, 10:52 p.m.
In hindsight, we should have realized that there was something unusual about the story in the St. Petersburg Times, in which Emily Nipps and Brant James rely upon multiple levels of hearsay in presenting Nick Schuyler’s account of the manner in which Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper, Lions defensive end Corey Smith, and William Bleakley came to remove their vests and disappear from the overturned boat to which the four men were attempting to cling.
The report is based on things Schuyler supposedly said to investigators, who then supposedly shared those things with the father of William Bleakley, who then passed the information along to reporters.
So it’s not surprising that there are inconsistencies. In the Times, the report is that Bleakley removed his vest and swam away from the boat, believing that he saw a light in the distance. According to the Tampa Tribune, however, Schuyler directly shared with Bleakley’s father a far different explanation.
Specifically, Bob Bleakley said that Schuyler told him the following: “Will stayed with me for 36 hours and was in my grasp when he lost consciousness and died.”
Thus, until Schuyler fully recovers and has an opportunity to gather his thoughts and to attempt to separate (if he can) the things he actually experienced from the things he might genuinely (but inaccurately) believe he experienced, it’s wise for neither the Times nor the Tribune nor any other newspaper or media company to attempt to report details regarding whatever it is that occurred once that boat capsized.
For once, let’s all set aside the desire to publish a story and respect the folks most dramatically impacted not only by the events but also by the manner in which the events are being covered.
As a result, we’re done commenting on this matter, and we’ll say nothing further until such time as Schuyler chooses to talk to the media about it.