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Responses to the Crime Reporting editorial have been trickling in. It seems we're divided over the issue:
1) "And so it begins...."
Did you notice any Mussolinial Facist leftovers when you were in Italia? Just curious.
2) Get off your high horse! I want to know if someone has been accused of child molestation. Guilty or Innocent. It is our responsibility to protect children and I think sometimes we have to take drastic measures. I suppose you are also against publishing lists of sex offenders. Just wait, one day you will have a child and you will do WHATEVER it takes to protect that child. It is a big bad, scary world and I will do what ever I have to protect someone else from sexual assault. Believe me, it is easier to prevent it than to live in the aftermath!
(And in a later follow up):
As someone who has appeared on all kinds of records, reports, media releases, etc., I think that the public has a right to know! We live in the age of information. Everything, whether we know it or not, is accessible to the public. Granted, the release in the paper would probably go over better if it was in the column next to the news of "backroom" government dealings/doings.
3) Weren't you paying attention in People v. Larry Flynt. You have to put up with the paper publishing what you consider to be offensive news clips about who was charged because we have a CONSTITUTION that protects our right from undue government interference. Do you really want the government to decide what the paper can print. The fact that the people were charged IS news. 1st Amendment, Freedom of Press, eh? If we start letting Fred decide what gets published and what does not then why can't we let the conservatives decide which other stories are not appropriate. The arrests are a matter of public record and yes, which technology, they now get wider distribution, but the courts have decided that freedom of speech and freedom of press are more important than starting down the slippery slope towards letting government decide what can be published...and they are right.
In response to the above responses:
1) Yeah, the whole "no tolerance" and "two strikes, you're out" zealous anti-crime hysteria is widespread, as indicated in 2).
2) I might not have a problem with this type of reporting IF the paper would then print who was found innocent. The person from 3) argues that it's freedom of the press and news and therefore they're right to print it. I point out that pipe bombs are news but they're responsible enough not to print EXACTLY how the bombs are made. But back at 2), it is our responsibility to protect ALL our citizens, children and adults, accused and unaccused, guilty and innocent. We've set up a system that is supposed to handle that protection - the judicial system and enforcement systems. How long is it before some innocent person gets killed because the paper reported they were ACCUSED of a crime? I'd be amazed if it hadn't happened already. And printing a list of sexual OFFENDERS is entirely different than printing a list of those ACCUSED. Maybe we'll tackle that issue in another series.
But to reinforce an issue I touched briefly in the first episode of this editorial, how is knowing your neighbor is accused of a crime going to help you protect your family? You shouldn't trust your neighbors in this society anyway, whether they've been accused of a crime or not!
3) I'm not arguing for censorship - that implies government control of the media. I'm asking for SELF control BY the media. Again, this wouldn't bother me AS much IF the paper would print who ends up being innocent, but they don't. You're argument that it is news and therefore their job to print it is somewhat valid. However, if their arrest is news, shouldn't their verdict also be news? The media is just pandering to the fears of the populace to make a quick buck, as you yourself have as much admitted in person. But I believe the media shouldn't be solely in it for the money. I don't read the Enquirer, watch any BS talk show, or watch Cops precisely because of this irresponsible behavior.
And yes, I am writing the Loafing on this one and thanks for helping me pound out the logic flaws here and there. Further assistance welcome!
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