In Santa Maria, California, the police chief issued a false press release that two petty criminals had been arrested and handed over to ICE. And the press duly reported it. Why did the cops lie? So they had time to nab the two small-time hoods before another gang, MS-13, carried out a plan to murder them.
While the mild deception worked perfectly, and nobody got whacked, the media are outwaged. The news director of KSBY-TV, one Kendra Martinez, was “deeply troubled”:
[W]e are concerned this type of deception can erode the basic trust of our residents and viewers.
Heh, heh, the TV news gal says “basic trust.” Bwahahahahaaaa!
We’re sure that her outwage has nothing to do with the fact a double murder is much, much better for ratings, when you’re an “it bleeds, it leads” outfit like KSBY-TV.
She wasn’t alone. A professor at a journalism school executed a Grandmaster Level concern troll:
…it could raise questions about the department’s future credibility. However, he said the public is unlikely to appreciate the importance of that issue, particularly when the police said it was matter of life and death.
Anybody seen any credibility or trust survey numbers of police relative to journalists lately? Not that professor, apparently.
Let’s hear from the editor of Santa Maria’s one hanging-on-by-its-fingernails newspaper, Marga Cooley:
They used a public system paid for with public dollars to present false information to the public.
“‘What is NPR?’ Journalism for $2000, Alex!”
Of course, newspapers too sell more papers, increase their ABC circulation, and can charge their advertisers more money, when they have murders to report. Peace and harmony is great for society, but it blows for journalists.
It wasn’t just the lives of the two small time crooks, José Melendez and his other brother José Melendez (seriously. They do have different middle names), that the cops were trying to save, but the integrity of a long-running and complex gang operation, Operation Matador, which subsequently bagged 17 members of MS-13 and related gangs for 10 murders and conspiracies to whack 8 more people (including, presumably, los hermanos Melendez). After the operation was completed, and the accused murders and miscellaneous malefactors were safely dossing down in durance vile, the cops then admitted their ruse — and set off a media tantrum of purest distilled outwage.
It really blew us away that, of all the people to get upset about the cops telling a little white lie, it would be the same media who celebrate Walter Duranty, Herbert Matthews, Janet Cooke Stephen Glass, Mike Barnicle, Jayson Blair… need we go on? You can tell they’re lyin’, ’cause their lips are moving.
Suddenly they’re very concerned that the police might bruise their credibility. Well, they would know what bruised credibility looks like, wouldn’t they? Strict neutrality between the police and MS-13 may be what a journalist calls righteous these days, but it’s unlikely to bring the trust back.