Monday, June 07, 2004

Achieving balance at the St. Cloud Times - Part Two 

In other news, Susan Ihne, the paper's editor-in-chief, yesterday blasted KMSP's coverage of drinking at the state capitol. Not that it is OK to legislate while intoxicated, but that KMSP's reporters were too sneaky.
Obviously, state employees who violated state policy by drinking on the job should be disciplined. And I'm not saying it's OK for legislators to drink alcohol in the Capitol.
Well unfortunately it's not illegal. We can't vote while intoxicated, but legislators can -- they've exempted themselves from rules concerning alcohol on public property.
My concern is the deceptive way in which KMSP obtained footage to make their story more sensational. Why not walk in with a camera and record everyone drinking and lobbyists sitting behind the desk of a legislator?

Sure, those being recorded would have screamed and ushered them out. But KMSP would have had its footage -- without being devious or tricking anyone.
You mean, you want them to impersonate Geraldo? The building is public property, the legislators doing the people's business, and it's open to the public. (Just ask the lobbyists who were also tippling.) The legislators have no right to complain, and very few in fact have. Does the public frown on the use of secret cameras generally? Ihne thinks so and points to the Food Lion case. But that was willful misrepresentation of ABC News personnel as workers for Food Lion, much different than citizens walking around the Legislature.