Thursday, October 30, 2008

T.V. News

I know this is a bit out dated, but it came up while watching Boston Legal on TIVO last night.

A couple of weeks ago, a Dallas Police Officer struck and killed a 10-year old boy. The boy was riding his bike in the evening on a poorly lit street. The Police Officer was driving his patrol car over the speed limit in a residential area with no lights and no siren.

I am not here to talk about the boy or the officer. I grieve for them both. My wife and said again last night, "We cannot image how desperately lost the parents must feel at this time." I also cannot begin to imagine how horrified the officer must feel knowing he accidentally killed an innocent child.

I am here to talk about the TV news coverage in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. More than once, they showed some or all of the video from the perspective of the dash board cam in the patrol car. I know they said, "The images you are about to see are disturbing." I know they said, "Parents, you might want to remove your children from the room." I know they stopped the video before the car actually struck the boy. I also know my wife and I both cringed at the thought and grabbed the remote and turned off the TV. It was unnecessary. It was vile. It was tasteless. It was senseless.

Yes, that video needs to be used in police training sessions. Yes, use it in court. Yes, keep it as public record. But the freedom of the press does not mean the press needs to be Faces of Death V. Remember you are here to serve the public as the fourth estate. And yes, as a member of the first estate (look at your French History for this one), I am calling you to a higher standard for the common good.

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