[Restaurant owner Rogers, in the original Feb. 11 Enquirer story]
Here's the headline I wrote in mid-February over my post about a Cincinnati Enquirer puff piece that's now left the Ohio newspaper embarrassed: "An incredible list of professional women."
As in, lacking credibility, because the "20 Professional Women to Watch in 2012" included no less than Carolyn Washburn herself, the Enquirer's top editor. The online story -- in the form of a photo gallery -- didn't say how the women were picked, creating the impression it was an arbitrary list built by a possibly overworked newsroom staffer with a diversity-in-news box that needed to be checkmarked.
Many of you now know this story's latest, miserable twist: The paper has effectively acknowledged that it didn't (apparently) dig very deep into the subjects' backgrounds. No. 14 on the list, restaurateur Liz Rogers, surrendered today to Butler County law enforcement authorities on a year-old arrest warrant for failing to attend a hearing over a $3,000 debt she owed to another business.
The case has brought widespread attention because Rogers, 42, recently got a taxpayer-funded grant and loan totaling $984,000 to open a second restaurant.
The original feature remains online. As I post this, it hasn't been updated to reflect Rogers' recent travails. Perhaps this has already been done: If I were woman No. 20, I'd make sure the rest of the women were run through a deeper background check to avoid any further embarrassment.
Today, the Enquirer illustrated its initial account with the same Rogers photo used for the original Professional Women to Watch story. But it doesn't directly mention her previous appearance in the paper.
However, a careful reading of the accompanying very jumbled cutline -- which has just been removed -- offers a hint:
"Women to Watch Liz Rogers Metro Friday February 3, 2012: Elizabeth Ò Liz Ò Rogers (cq) of West Chester at her MahoganyÕ s Bar and Grill restaurant Friday February 3, 2012 in Hamilton, Ohio. The Enquirer/ Joseph Fuqua II / Joseph Fuqua II/The Cincinnati Enquirer."
Oy. This story is just plain jinxed.
Earlier: A conservative lawmaker, an alleged stripper -- and an Enquirer story that got away.