Those Pesky Constitutional Rights

I would like to introduce Kimberly Edds, the author of this article in The Orange County Register, to the word “allegedly”. Her account makes it seem like the man accused has already been tried and convicted. She presents this information as if it were fact, instead of accusation and allegation. Interesting, since there were no official charges filed at the time the article was published. Charges smarges.

Those pesky constitutional rights just get in the way of everything don’t they? Goddamn constitution. Besides, who needs due process when the Register seems to have a perpetual case of clairvoyancy?

9 Comments so far

  1. Michael Doss (unregistered) on January 26th, 2007 @ 12:50 am

    I don’t read it that way. The paragraphs that start out with “Hoover began sexually abusing…” and “Hoover visited the family after they moved to South Lake Tahoein 2003 and the abuse continued…” continue to go on to say that this was stated by the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department official.

    Pick on the Register if you like, but this is a pretty standard writing style in journalism.

  2. Jon (unregistered) on January 27th, 2007 @ 9:51 am

    I knew when I made this post I would most likely get a comment detailing the quotation marks and/or the AP Style Book. Fair enough.

    Just because it’s allowed by The Register doesn’t make it right. Just because it’s technically correct doesn’t make it right. Just because other journalists do it doesn’t make it right.

    I could write the same story and skew it the other way. Why choose to condemn a person even before charges are filed? The local news and the papers love the article’s subject. I am shocked they didn’t put his picture next to it. It’s just shameful.

  3. Michael Doss (unregistered) on January 27th, 2007 @ 12:31 pm

    Good thing we have the internet, where you and everyone else can be a journalist in any way you see fit!

    Luckily also for all of us, the press is not the courts.

  4. Tamara (unregistered) on January 27th, 2007 @ 12:39 pm

    Oh please, the media directs public thinking! They never publish just the facts, they publish their view of the facts, if they truly are the facts, in the manner that will produce the most sales, persuaded other to their way of thinking, or provides some other benefit to THEM!!! Sure, sometimes they really think they’re doing it to help society but almost always they have an alternative reason, a benefit of some kind to THEM. Think about it! They’re a newspaper! What do they gain by publishing anything of any kind?

  5. Michael Doss (unregistered) on January 27th, 2007 @ 1:53 pm

    You realize newspapers are a private business, yes? And to print a “list of facts”, you’d have to remove all narative elements? Not too interesting, and not too good for sales…

    The media only directs public thinking as far as the public wants it to. It’s your right and responsibility as a responable citizen to get your facts from a variety of sources. Newspaper are a product to be sold for profit, as all all other media sources.

  6. Jon (unregistered) on January 27th, 2007 @ 8:10 pm

    “Luckily also for all of us, the press is not the courts.”

    I mean this with all do respect, but what planet are you living on? Of course the press is the courts. We try people on television all the time.

    If there is to be a trial, the prosecutors want him portrayed as guilty in the public forum long before they ever begin a jury selection.

    As for The Register’s role, again, shameful. It’s only a good story if they make the guy seem like he’s guilty. It’s not the arrest, or the charges or the inevitable trial that sell this story. It’s sex that sells. Just because the public will buy it doesn’t mean they should serve it up on a platter.

    Yuck. ;p

  7. Gina (unregistered) on January 29th, 2007 @ 9:13 am

    If newspaper reporters aren’t supposed to be neutral, then why have journalism classes anymore? Aren’t there some ethics classes in there as well? I thought the goal of good newspapers was to present a balanced view without any personal bias setting in. And goodness knows, if there is any subject easy to be biased about, it’s suspected child molesters.

    Maybe we are discussing what newspapers should be versus what they really are. And if we have no one left to rely on for a “factual” account, then that makes it very hard to know which sources, if any, to trust any more.

  8. Michael Doss (unregistered) on January 29th, 2007 @ 4:03 pm

    Gina, if you ever thought newspapers were a factual account of the daily news, you might want to reexamine things you held dear as a child. =)

    Newspapers, especially in the past, were about as biased a source as anything else. Only in the last 20-30 years have papers separated their opinion pages from the rest of the paper, and taken obvious viewpoints out of everyday stories and put them into specific editorials.

    Journalists take journalism classes to learn how to write, how the business works, and how to gather the news. There are most certainly ethics involved, and because of competition, papers everywhere are reviewing their policies and procedures in order to decide whether they’re going to strive to be “balanced” (whatever that means) or to cater to a specific target audience. Both these moves exist for one reason – to sell copies and advertising. It is, after all, a business.

  9. Jon (unregistered) on January 30th, 2007 @ 5:37 am


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