Trial By News Media - And Response

Wednesday, December 04, 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


Education From A Businessman's Point Of View

Our school board should be viewed as a board of directors that works for us, the stockholders of an education system in which the entire community is invested. With a $400 million budget, it is important that we elect individuals with business experience not only to manage how funds are allocated, but also to seriously evaluate human resources to enlist the best management team ... (click for more)

VW Investment Questions

Clearly, our city and county government are going to award an additional $52 million in local tax payer resources to VW assuming a return of 2,000 jobs direct, and indirect return. To weigh the rate of return to the community, someone had to assume how long the 2,000 direct jobs would exist. Does anyone know how long our government assumed 2,000 job would continue or sustain for ... (click for more)

EPB Files With FCC To Expand TV, Phone, Internet Offerings Outside Electric Service Area

 EPB announced Thursday that it has filed a petition to the FCC "in an effort to respond to neighboring communities’ requests for access to the company’s gigabit enabled high-speed Internet service." Officials said, "EPB offers high-speed Internet access, video programming and voice services using a fiber optic communications network that allows the company to deliver these ... (click for more)

Black Creek Developers Say They "Followed The Rules" On $9 Million TIF: To Continue Project

The developers of the Black Creek project at Aetna Mountain said Thursday they "complied precisely by the rules when we applied for and received approval of the TIF district." Doug Stein said the group plans to continue on with the project, which he said earlier would include the creation of a small town on a huge undeveloped tract on the mountain above Black Creek (formerly ... (click for more)

Stone Leaves South Pitt For Coaching Positions At Boyd-Buchanan

The possibility of a career move was definitely in Wes Stone’s future. The one he took wasn’t necessarily on his radar screen just a few weeks ago. Stone, assistant football and head baseball coach at South Pittsburg, has left the Pirates for teaching/coaching positions at Boyd-Buchanan. The 38-year-old Stone, who already is working with the Bucs’ football team as a defensive ... (click for more)

Soddy-Daisy's Wright Commits To MTSU Baseball

Soddy-Daisy’s Andy Wright, a rising senior and dual-threat player, has made a non-binding verbal commitment to play baseball at Middle Tennessee State University. Wright, a pitcher/third baseman, chose the Conference USA Blue Raiders over Belmont, Air Force, Navy, UT-Martin and Carson-Newman. “I’m glad to get this (decision) off my back so I can enjoy my senior year,” Wright ... (click for more)