Friday, October 06, 2006

Why Did CBS5 Run This Story?

UPDATE: FRIDAY OCT. 06! Exclusive! Must credit SPOCKO! (I just say that to tweak Drudge, you don't have to credit me.)
Well good for CBS Channel 5 in SF! It appears that they have pulled their story where they revealed the name of one of the pages in the Foley sexual predator case.
I went to the link today and it is NOW password protected. Thank you. And I'm also not going to link to the password protected story because this is the kind of thing that will draw MORE attention to the name. I do hope that they protect it from crawlers and web-bots, because even thought it is "out there", links to the name will boost the credibility of "Wild Bill" and the jerks who link to him like Instapundit.

(Now if I could only get ABC/Disney to fire the hate mongers at KSFO I'll be really happy!)

Dear CBS News Director:

Could you please explain the “news” judgment on running this story?
Cal Student Said To Be Page In Foley Sex Scandal -- (no link provided on purpose)

Do you often disclose the names of juvenile victims of sexual predators? Or do you only do that when they are outed by bloggers? Remember during a prominent rape case TV newscasters ran a Grey Dot over the victim’s face and most responsible papers didn’t run the victim’s name? Did it not occur to you that this case deserves the same care? Or because it was “out there” did you decide to run with the story because it had a “local” angle?

By running this story you are part of the chilling effect for the other pages who might want to come forward. How many other pages will trust news organizations after they see how sloppy ABC was and that competing organizations like yours will run their names if it is “out there”? Furthermore, did YOUR team confirm the name or did you take the word of blogger “Wild Bill”? I believe in the power of “citizen journalism” but you are TV journalists and have a bit more power, reach and presumably more credibility at stake than to trust “Wild Bill” who felt it necessary to ‘out’ the page. (And by the way, do you know what HIS agenda was for this outing?)

I want to see a serious blog post on the thought process you had when you ran this story and how it fits in with your other news reporting guidelines in similar cases. Was it because you felt the public had a “right to know”? Or was it run because you wanted to show that ABC screwed up?


Mr. Spocko

P.S. I’m using my blog name because if I asked you to protect my identity I don’t feel I could trust you to hold it in confidence.


Anonymous said...

Nice letter. I esp loved the PS..

5:26 AM  
betmo said...

good for you!! standing up for civil liberties in a country who now has none. perhaps more folks will join on the bandwagon. keep fighting the fight.

7:51 AM  
Jim said...

Looks like they pulled it due to a threat of lawsuit from the Oklahoma AG.

7:09 PM  
spocko said...

Jim: Really? Linky please?

8:50 PM  

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