Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Double Standards For Student Journalists

If it weren't for double standards, the Left would have no standards at all.

Last fall, ABC News and New York affiliate WABC enlisted students to help them in a similar gotcha game with recruiters. They armed the kids with hidden video cameras for visits to ten Army recruitment offices in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The journalists accused the recruiters of misleading the students to get them to enlist. The ABC News sting came on the heels of a Colorado student’s undercover operation in Denver in 2005. David McSwane, a high-school honors student, posed as a dropout and druggie. “I wanted to do something cool, go undercover and do something unusual,” he told the Rocky Mountain News. McSwane deliberately failed a high-school equivalency test, caught recruiters on tape driving him to purchase a detox kit, and reported that they urged him to obtain a phony diploma. A local CBS station picked up the story — prompting the Army to shut down its recruiting stations nationwide for ethics training.

McSwane earned a “laurel” from the prestigious Columbia Journalism Review “for conduct most becoming” and announced he was headed to journalism school. His reporting garnered attention from the New York Times to Editor and Publisher — and spawned copycats like those at ABC News.

No such laurels have been awarded to Lila Rose, however. And none will be forthcoming, I predict. Rose is an 18-year-old student journalist at UCLA. Like McSwane and his breed of undercover reporters, she surreptitiously infiltrated a massive organization that enlists young people. Like McSwane and his breed of undercover reporters, Rose exposed deceptive practices. Rose posed as a 15-year-old seeking the services and advice of her target. Like McSwane and his breed of undercover reporters, she caught her targets urging her to lie and evade the law in order to sign her up.

But Rose’s target was the Left’s beloved Planned Parenthood, not the military. And that has made all the difference in the nonexistent national coverage of her undercover journalism. Rose edits The Advocate, a pro-life campus publication of the student group Live Action. She posed as a minor impregnated by a 23-year-old boyfriend and caught a Planned Parenthood employee advising her to lie about her age to relieve the abortion provider from a legal obligation to report statutory rape to the police.

“If you’re 15, we have to report it,” the staffer told Rose in a secretly taped video. “If you’re not, if you’re older than that, then we don’t need to.” “OK, but if I just say I’m not 15, then it’s different?” Rose queried. “You could say 16,” the worker helpfully suggested. “Just figure out a birth date that works. And I don’t know anything.” Other than coverage from a few pro-life groups and conservative websites, Rose’s stunning revelations have received virtually no mainstream media attention. And no calls from lawmakers for investigations of Planned Parenthood’s predatory tactics and practices — which have been also caught on tape in other states by undercover citizen investigators.

Instead, Rose faces threats of a lawsuit by Planned Parenthood, which sent her a cease-and-desist letter and had the appalling nerve this week to lecture Rose about the need “to be more respectful of California laws,” according to the conservative Cybercast News Service.

Where are the muckraking champions when you need them?

They're probably out on the Hamptons with all the other libs.


Tony said...

Both examples seem like brilliant examples of journalism to me. As long as both students can support their stories with facts, then both should be commended.

Scott McCall said... thing is the recruiters are our military, which is suposed to "protect" us and "earn our freedom" (quotes on purpose). whereas planned parenthood is just to either help teenagers clean up their mistakes, or help rape victims not live with the incident....major difference.

plus....the media ALWAYS goes toward the issue that tries to show a corrupt nation. they're always trying to "expose the truth" in the government or tryin to show curruption in politics....they couldn't care less about corruption in an abortion agency, because then it would also stir up the argument about aboritons all over again.

gata love the media and politics

Darren said...

I disagree, Scott. I think the media always lean towards whatever supports their leftward views.

Scott McCall said...

but not all media is lift-focused

Scott McCall said...

besides, the media is always opposide of the president adminitration

Mithrass said...

Or whatever poll tells them that they need to support in order to 'look' good.

Doesn't really shock me that this happens. The media does it with education all the time. The amount of 'good' that is done in the classroom that goes unnoticed, but you BETTER believe they are there with cameras when something bad happens shouting, "The Sky Is Falling!"

Darren said...

There are hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of teachers across this country. The vast majority of us don't sleep with our students. But when one does...yeah, I guess I see where Mithrass is coming from!