Vultures Row: Is this ethical?

Is this ethical?

Drudge, again, breaks a story

The biggest news story in the last 24 hours has been the one covering Rumsfeld being asked by a soldier about armor for the hummers used in Iraq. The press went into over drive playing the sound bites and trying to discredit Rumsfeld.

Today it comes out that a reporter; one Edward Lee Pitts planted the questions with the soldier who asked that question. He even brags about it in an e-mail he sent to the staff of his paper. Not only did he give the man a question to ask, he also sought out the AV guy (who knew that the army and an audio visual club?) to make sure that his guy was called upon during the Q&A session.

I ask is this ethical, planting a question so he then has a story to write on the question? I thought the media’s job was to report the news, not to create it. It shows a lack of ethics and in my opinion a streak of laziness to plant stories instead of hunting one down.

I also wonder why he was so impassioned about this issue that he would plant a story and there are two lines in his e-mail to the paper that give cause to speculation the first one is:

I have been trying to get this story out for weeks- as soon as I foud out I would be on an unarmored truck” (misspelling his fault, not mine for a change)

and the other is

The great part was that after the event was over the throng of national media following Rumsfeld- The New York Times, AP, all the major networks -- swarmed to the two soldiers I brought

Is he worried about his own safety? Does he really care about the soldiers or is it more of him wanting an armored vehicle to ride in? Was his own personal feelings of comfort his motivation or is it a drive to embarrass the secretary of defense?

In any event this can only be seen as suspect at best, and deceitful, wrong and harmful to his profession at worst. How is it that the press can continue to act this way, to act in a manner which can only serve to undermine their credibility? Has they forgotten that credibility is the keystone to their profession or are they only interested in pandering to the extreme ends of the left that they will do or say whatever it takes to make a point instead of just covering the point?

An interesting side note; The story has been moved off of CNN’s front page.

Vulture 6


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