Journalistic Integrity of The Post Register Questioned

Tanner Cox
Tanner Cox: Arrested

There appear to be several backstories to this story:

Idaho Falls beating death: Details on possible motive emerge
Post Register May 18, 2015

Here is one of them.

In the comments of the reprint of this story on the Idaho Statesman site ...

James Kent wrote:

Well that's finally the most thorough report yet of the incident. But it still omits a key fact that Cox bonded out for $1000 the following Monday without charges for the beating and was on the lam for a week. That's some significant negligence that deserves to be reported upon for public accountability. The Idaho Statesman should know that I made repeated requests to the Post Register as to why they omitted this information and the fact that Cox's mother is a former IFPD employee. They told me that they didn't want to ruin their relationship with their police contacts. When I observed that they were putting their personal relationship with the police over the duty to their readers, the Post Register banned me from their facebook page and deleted my comments. The Statesman might question future reports from the PR and perhaps put their own reporter on the story.

Kevin Wilson wrote on the Post Register Facebook page:

James Kent has made a number of posts here asking about apparent omissions in the reporting done by the Post Register about the killing of Josh Olzak. I have followed those posts closely. They were probing questions encouraging the Post Register to press the IFPD for details about why they released the prime suspect after apprehending him the night of the attack. Mr. Kent's posts were civil, professional, and free of vulgarity. They in no way violated the Facebook Terms of Use.

Why then has the Post Register deleted those posts and blocked James Kent from posting on this page?

UPDATE: 1:51 p.m.
James Kent said:

From the Statesman. They posted part of the information and then decided to censor me as well.
Thanks, James. We checked with the newspaper and the court records and I've added a reference to Cox bonding out, as well as his new bond. I've also gotten more information about their reporting so far, and am comfortable with keeping this story on our site.

If you have a concern with the Post Register, I'd ask that you work directly with them. We're not interested in allowing our comments section to help spread unsubstantiated allegations about anyone, regardless of whether they're other media or not, and I'd ask that you not use this page to do that. Until I'm given a better reason to believe that the paper is improperly withholding details, I'm going to hide this post from public view.

Kevin Wilson said:

If Nate Poppino is going to delete every comment that contains "unsubstantiated allegations" then he had better pack a lunch. He's going to be a very busy little worker bee for a very long time.


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James' comments

I know James Kent, and we are friends, but I think his comments were premature this time.

The situation surrounding Josh Olzak's death was complicated, and the Post-Register reported what it was able to report in the breaking news at the time when more was unknown than known.

Later stories that have been published since May 18th have filled in a lot of the details, and Cox is now behind bars, but the police are still searching for some other suspects. Cox has confessed that he stuck Olzak and knocked him out, which probably caused Olzak's fall and death from a skull fracture he received when his head hit a sidewalk.

Even though James may have spoken too soon, there's no foul I can see; if nothing else, he kept the newspaper on the job, because they've been covering this case very steadily and thoroughly, even though the initial account was sketchy.

The Post Register as a rule has been sticking with developing stories a lot better than they used to in the past.
Without the PR's request for copies of the county minutes records concerning Jefferson County's former Sheriff Blair Olsen's financial transgressions, Olsen would still be the Sheriff today. All the county officials wanted the records of their meetings concerning Olsen kept secret, and the forced release of the records led to Olsen being found guilty of felony misuse of public funds.

Olsen was tried by a state prosecutor in a trial held in Twin Falls and was found guilty. mHe is now awaiting his sentence, which could be up to 30 years in prison.

Without the Post, it would never have happened. And the Olsen case is not the first the PR has brought into public light over the years. They are the only news outlet locally that has forced sealed records of all kinds to be opened, resulting in other per's guilt and sentencing.