Trial By News Media - And Response

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The two shooting incidents resulting in deaths are tragic.  Several families will never be the same. I don't know who was right or wrong because I wasn't there and as far as I can tell none of the very vocal public speakers were either. 

What I am seeing is yet again how powerful the news media is in directing public opinion in different directions. When the teenager was shot, Channel 9 News reported a clear cut case of two people trying to steal something from a homeowner with an adult waiting in the getaway car.  When the robber ran toward the homeowner, he shot to protect himself.  When the elderly man was shot it appeared to be a clear case of a homeowner fearing for the safety of his family. Even the sheriff said publicly that it was a tragic case where a man felt threatened and acted accordingly, that they had even picked the elderly man up and taken him home in the past because he was lost and confused. At the time the sheriff seemed to accept that the homeowner was within his rights to protect his family.

Now with the public demanding that justice be served, suddenly Channel 9 is portraying the teenager as a child politely asking for scrap metal to make extra spending money, and the frightened homeowner as an out of control trigger happy gun owner. Jesse Jackson is reportedly getting involved because it smacks of another Travon Martin case.

My point is simple. The public screams for justice based on what the reporters tell us on the 6 o'clock news. In these two cases, I feel like the reporters are creating news stories as a reaction to public opinion. I would much prefer the reporters tell us the facts as released by the people who have investigated the shootings. 

Harry Presley
Chattanooga 

* * *

I stopped watching News Channel 9 a couple of years ago because I realized that they were presenting opinions instead of factual information. I want the facts of the story and I can draw my own opinions. They do a grave injustice to this community with the way they present the news. 

Martha Jean Rice
Chattanooga


Too Many NFL Players Take Their On-Field Aggression Off The Field

Bone snapping. Hard hitting. Violence. We all love to watch it. We love the adrenaline that football gives us. Most Americans have their own team that they love to cheer on and win football games. We get so carried away watching the violence that we don’t seem to see the big picture. We watch the violence on the field, but what we don’t see is the violence that football players ... (click for more)

Remembering Ed Temple And TSU's Legacy

Many Chattanooga alumni, former students and members of the Tennessee State University community were saddened to receive the following information from our Alma Mater that legendary track and field coach Ed Temple has finished the great race we call life. Perhaps no other individual, with the exception of Jesse Owens, contributed more to the success of U.S. Olympic track and ... (click for more)

DA Pinkston Files Petition To Declare 2 Gangs A Public Nuisance

District Attorney General Neal Pinkston filed a petition on Monday asking that two Chattanooga gangs, the Gangster Disciples and the Grape Street Crips, and their members be declared public nuisances. General Pinkston is also "asking that injunctive relief be given to the law-abiding residents of East Lake by establishing a Safety Zone that covers most of their neighborhood." ... (click for more)

2 Boaters Die In Suspected Carbon Monoxide Poisoning On Chickamauga Lake

Two boaters and their pet were pronounced dead at the scene of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning on Chickamauga Lake.  Kristy D. James and Mike L. Richardson of Chattanooga were reported missing to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office earlier in the day by a concerned family member. The boaters had not been heard from since Saturday. Tennessee Wildlife Resources ... (click for more)

Vols' Dobbs, Barnett Grab SEC Player of Week Honors

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs is the SEC Offensive Player of the Week and end Derek Barnett the SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Week. This week's honor marks the first time this season that a Vol has earned SEC Offensive Player of the Week. Dobbs was the last UT player to win the award in Week 6 of 2015 following his performance in the Vols' ... (click for more)

Craine, Ribeiro Named SoCon Players Of The Week

Two University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football student-athletes were named Southern Conference Players of the Week, following the Mocs' 41-21 win over Samford on Saturday.  Seniors Derrick Craine and Henrique Ribeiro both earned recognition from the league office announced today. Craine rushed for a career-high 222 yards on 23 carries with two touchdowns in the win. ... (click for more)