Jay Maynard (jmaynard) wrote,
Jay Maynard

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An unlikely agreement

St. Paul police Sergeant Jerry Vick was shot to death on duty a couple of Fridays ago. The day after his funeral, the Twin Cities news media got a lot of mileage out of the story that Vick was legally intoxicated at the time of his death, despite the fact that drinking on the job is explicitly permitted for undercover cops. (After all, they can't exactly refuse to drink when meeting the bad guys they're trying to get the goods on, now can they?)

As usual with the media, they went with the story, not caring what effect that would have on innocent people. The folks who run the media there defended their actions, saying that the story was worthy of the front-page treatment it got. The public reacted, properly IMAO, with outrage.

Star-Tribune columnist Nick Coleman is not someone I agree with very often. He's a left-wing kook who never saw a tax, or a government program, he didn't like. Nevertheless, in a column in today's paper, he did something that surprised me: He told the story of the devastation wrought on the lives on Vick's parents by the publicity surrounding his alcohol level. In so doing, he broke with the journalistic ethos that the story is paramount, and the effects on the lives of innocent people are inevitable and necessary.

I wish more of the press would do the same. Then, perhaps, we wouldn't see the media destroy innocent people.

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