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Need some help/talking points

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by JayFarrar, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Have an SPJ meeting tomorrow.
    We get to take sides on various media arguments and the meeting topic is the ethics of sting operations like Dateline's Catch a Predator series.
    I'm going to argue and say that what Hansen and the boys at NBC is incredibly wrong and here's why:
    1) It isn't the media's job to play cop or judge and jury
    2) The arrangement with the police runs contrary with the traditional role of sources
    3) We don't conduct these kinds of sting operations with any other crime, like we don't have a camera crew waiting outside a bar to nail drunk drivers or go park trolling for gays [Note: At least not yet in my market]

    What else?
  2. What are you going to say when the other side accuses you of hating children?
  3. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    I don't hate children, expecially Thai children when I'm on vacation in SE Asia (I keed, I keed)

    Truthfully, how can you maintain perspective and fairness if you let your reporting be clouded by the emotions? Isn't that what happened with that case in SoCal where the media jumped all over it when those daycare kids said they were being sexually abused and the press convicted that family with what turned out to be faulty reporting and the fact that no one bothered to investigate what the kids were saying.
    Kids go to bars with fake IDs and get drunk, drive home and crash along the way. Or they go to someone else's house and have dirty underaged sex. I haven't seen the TV out hunting teenaged barflys.
  4. I'm playing devil's advocate. Actually, I agree that "To Catch a Killer" isn't journalism. It's more like "Cheaters."

    Obviously there's a place on TV for shows like "To Catch a Killer" but it's wrong to call it news. It's "reality TV."
  5. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    The McMartin preschool case is what you refer to. I attended high school with a couple of people who it was said had attended that place. Never asked them about it; wasn't the inquisitive prick I am now. Look it up sometime on the Web, to find out the sheer insanity of how the case was pursued. Some kids were coached, lives were ruined, etc. One of the first newspaper investigations I followed hardcore, every single piece of information.

    Agree completely that emotion clouds a journalist's judgement. They say you need a sense of outrage; no, you just need an unemotional sense of what is outrageous. The To Catch a Predator stuff is entrapment, and it's Anderson Cooper-like grandstanding, even if it's funny as hell to watch. In a Cheaters sort of way.
  6. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    No one else had a problem with the last part of the hypothetical?
  7. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

  8. Why? Cops are always doing sting operations for homosexual behavior at the local park bathrooms... I've seen a couple of councilmen and teachers lose their jobs that way.
  9. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    One of local teevees wouldn't go out with the cops when they go hunting gays, which happens all the time in my neck of the woods.
    I don't remember all the details, but a local weatherman got busted in the park for being gay in the South and the local daily has a policy of running this misdemeanor crime on the front page of the metro section. And, this is where my memory gets hazy so I might be wrong, the weather guy ended up committing suicide over the coverage.
    If he didn't off himself, then he at least disappeared.
  10. Boobie Miles

    Boobie Miles Active Member

    Hold on... it's actually against the law to be gay in the South??? Wow.
  11. Yeah, can you believe parents have a problem with anonymous men giving each other handjobs and blowjobs, etc. in public park bathrooms, just a few feet from the slides and swings where their children are playing?

    Southerners ...
  12. Boobie Miles

    Boobie Miles Active Member

    I'm not making a statement, I'm genuinely curious. Your example and the one I quoted about "hunting gays" are too very different images. Also said "got busted in the park for being gay in the South" not anything about giving blow jobs a few feet away from children. Excuse me for not clearly understanding.
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