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The Tooth Fairy’s Exposed Breast

September 16, 2014

The tooth fairy’s exposed breast made the child uncomfortable.

Restraint isn’t a hard concept.  It’s not complicated at all.

When controversy is raging, news organizations ought not to rush to publish stories with the obvious potential to inflame things.

The bishop wore butt-less chaps to the bat mitzvah.

Instead, news organizations ought to be extra careful, extra cautious.  Reporters ought to be skeptical of everything they hear. They ought to check and recheck their facts. They ought to button down their diction and have solid attribution.

And in these situations, editors ought to do their job and be stickler SOBs who insist on having a second source to corroborate every critical point.

The garden gnome had a normal size penis.

Ought. Ought. Ought. And yet, all these basic tenets of journalism go out the window nowadays. With regularity.

Case in point: Coverage of an incident in LA on Saturday involving an actress and her boyfriend.

In the first day’s coverage, the incident was portrayed as an egregious example of racial profiling. An accomplished young black woman – star of the Oscar-winning film “12 Years a Slave” — was humiliated by cops who arrested her for being a prostitute simply because she had kissed her white boyfriend in public. The story ran with the photograph of the young woman – taken by someone with a handheld device – that showed her in tears as she was being arrested.  A second photo provided by the woman showed a scratch on her arm, which was said to be the result of her being roughed up and handcuffed by police. “Is this what American is about?” was the sub-header to the story.

The second day’s story had … ahem … a different cast. It was written after the police department and the officer involved offered their perspective.  They said they were responding to complaints about lewd conduct. They said they approached the woman and her boyfriend because they fit the exact description provided from neighbors who said a black woman and white man were having sex in a silver Mercedes. The officer responding to the scene asked the woman to produce her ID and she became irate. She warned the officer to back off because she was an actress with a publicist who could create a public relations problem for the police department. Police said that despite the woman’s behavior, the matter was resolved without anyone being arrested. Police backed up their version of the events with an audio tape in which the woman is heard arguing with and swearing at the officer.

Second day stories also changed the description of the woman from being the star of “12 Years a Slave” to having a non-lead role in movie “Django Unchained.”

Grab the children. Save the children. Mwah-mwah, wah.

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