Saturday, November 12, 2011

CBS 's Gregg Doyel 's Journalism Failure As To Penn State Scandal

I will give my extensive thoughts on the whole Penn State saga later. However I want to make a point to the sports media. They are going to have act like grown ups in this matter. This is not Conference realignment or who the next Coach at Ole Miss will be where you just throw every rumor out there.

As a Catholic I am reminded of this from the catechism that is related to the the BIG TEN.

2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury.278

He becomes guilty:

- of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;

- of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another's faults and failings to persons who did not know them;279
- of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them

OK enough of the Sunday school lesson.

The line between opinion/ advocacy and fact reporting is often blurry. However as to sports media that line is very blurry indeed. When we are dealing with something as serious as the Penn State Scandal this becomes dangerous.

Greg Doyell of CBS ( The Tiffany Network) has run a piece that if it was the CBS political news department or dealing with business matters would elicit I suspect some outrage from journalism watchdogs. See Gricar's 2005 disappearance only one of many mysteries in PSU scandal

In this piece he does mention the interesting disappearance of the District Attorney that had links to the Sandusky's matter. OK fair game. However now he brings the DA's brother death in for some reason that is beyond me except perhaps then to give his piece a shade of "evil intrigue".

However at the end he says:
The other clue is even more mind-bending. Gricar's computer was found in pieces, the first piece in July 2005, three months after his disappearance. Fishermen spotted his laptop under a bridge, damaged by water and missing its hard drive. Two months later a woman walking on the riverbank found the hard drive, about a half-mile from where the Mini Cooper had been abandoned. The hard drive was so water-damaged, investigators couldn't get any information from it.

But in 2009, investigators announced what they had found on the home computer at Ray Gricar's house. In the weeks before he vanished, someone had used that computer to research ways of destroying a computer hard drive.

What does that mean? It's a mystery. One guess -- my guess -- is that Ray Gricar had used his laptop in 2005 to visit websites that disturbed him, disturbed him so much that he wanted to kill any sign he had been there ... before killing himself in the same way his brother had killed himself in 1996.

That's a guess, but at this moment that's all we have. All we can do is speculate on the connection between Ray Gricar, his brother Roy and Jerry Sandusky -- three men in various states of being, all of them presumably doomed. One way or another

Wow did I just read that? Is this CBS or TMZ sports or Deadspin.

The implication in this is well GRICAR was a pedo too I guess. There could be numerous reasons ( or guesses) on the state of his computer. Such as:

- someone besides him wanted to destroy it
-he had a personal diary that dealt with issues of depression
-maybe he has having an affair
-maybe just maybe it had work product on it and he as a part of tidying up his affairs he decided -to make sure confidential info (unrelated to this case) was disposed of
-heck maybe he had some type of Porn fetish , that while not illegal, he did not want to get out.

Who knows? But to make the leap , in which is implied, that he was visiting child porn sites is far from the only "guess".

Millions of Americans will be going to this man for news. Already all sorts of accusations and mmurmors are being said about anyone that was associated with Sandusky's charity. Whoever are the editors at the CBS website better start maintaining some quality control and soon.

Could his "guess" be right? Well maybe it could. But when are dealing with people's lives and reputations throwing out "guesses" "rumors" which often readers will to start to see as "facts" when repeated enough on social media is not responsible.

Again as he say this is based on nothing but a "guess" and by that admission I guess no evidence. But that is not what the average reader will recall from this piece. If you print it have sources for it and say it.

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