EyeonDare has been told by at least two reliable sources that internal changes were made to an online news story printed in today's edition the Virginian Pilot and the changes occurred within hours after Nags Head mayor Bob Oakes contacted the newspaper and expressed discontent about how the article and an accompanying poll was written and presented to Pilot readers.
At the time EyeonDare copied the online poll over to its blog this morning, and just before the newspaper removed it from its Internet website (see blog post below), 64% of the respondents had said they thought the $36 million project was a waste of money. Also, 26% said the project was not a waste of money, and 10% said they were not sure.
In addition to pulling the poll, the newspaper placed (added) a hyperlink into its Internet news story, that was not a part of the newspaper's paper edition or the original Internet edition. The hyperlink (click here) directs the reader to a report, provided by Oakes, that came from the town's beach nourishment engineer, and contains details about sand losses during Hurricane Irene.
Attempts to reach Mayor Oakes on numerous occasions today, have been unsuccessful. EyeonDare welcomes his response here on this blog, or he may call EOD. He knows how to get in touch.
UPDATE: Mayor Bob Oakes returned EOD's call just minutes after this blog post was put online, and he offered us a copy of his email to the Virginian Pilot, and agreed it was OK to add it to this blogpost. Here it is:
From: Bob Oakes
Sent: Thu 9/8/2011 9:51 AM
Subject: Please add a link to the actual report
I was very disappointed in the Pilot's poll question. It leaves the impression that 25% of the nourishment sand is just gone, and that's not the case. We haven't been able to survey the nearshore area since the storm, so you have only seen a part of the data.
Again, disappointed that the Pilot chose to inflame rather than inform.
Link to the report - please add if possible.