Monday, July 30, 2007

More Journalism Shame

Journalists dead...and for what?

It is a common story on local television stations throughout America. A car is eluding police and the news media hears the chase begin, while monitoring police scanners. News helicopters, usually used for traffic reports are utilized to bring video of the car chase to living rooms throughout a metropolitan area or sometimes a national audience.

So what is so important about showing these in progress crimes? Not a damn thing! This past Friday evening, two news channel helicopters collided in Phoenix while feeding live video and reporting of a police chase. All four people on board the aircraft's died...but what did they die for?

They died for absolutely nothing. The police were chasing a man in a vehicle and then on foot. The subject didn't abduct a child or was wanted for murder. He wasn't a celebrity or a person of great fame or fortune. He was a common criminal. Someone law enforcement comes across thousands of times everyday. However, these chases are considered GREAT T.V. so they send a young energetic reporter, his pilot and in most areas a producer to bring the live chase to your home. But what is the journalism value here?

Are we learning about a great menace to society? Is there an immediate danger that the public must be made aware of? The only necessary coverage is to have the local traffic reporter keep an eye on the situation and advise motorists to be aware of a possible police chase approaching and that should be done by radio stations only.

The fact is that four people have died for sensationalism and nothing more.

Nevertheless, journalists don't get it. Geraldo Rivera made as ass out of himself talking about this tragic event on Fox News. He referred to these helicopter pilots and reporters being on the front lines of journalism. What the F@#K is he talking about? During his days on 20/20 when he was being shot at by drug dealers or when he and countless others covered war zones, that was the front lines. Putting your life on the line to bring the realities of war is a personal decision that can get you killed, but it's part of your duties as a journalist. Crowding the skies over a major city so a family can watch a high speed car chase with their dinner is not journalism, it's entertainment and nothing more.

The sad reality is that four people have died in vain. The children who no longer have a father, the wives who lost their husbands and the parents who have lived through the death of a child are the victims.

Like everything else we are now searching for someone to blame. Christopher Jones was being chased by the police, so prosecutors are going to charge him with murder. This guy may be a scumbag, but he didn't murder anyone. The demands of a profession that has become less respectable than trial lawyers and street whore, killed these people.

There is no honor or glory here. Just stupidity and death.



At 7/31/2007 9:04 AM , Blogger Bob Ellison said...

Thank you. I could not have said it better myself. I sincerely hope that news rooms all over the country will take this as a wake up call to STOP sending their helicopters and personnel to cover this crap.

At 7/31/2007 11:31 AM , Blogger Paulie said...

Bob, thanks for your comments. Unfortunately I doubt they will learn anything. A near fatal accident and emergency landing took place in Texas yesterday.

Unfortunately, more accidents will have to occur before minds change.


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