31 July 2007

When good laws are interpreted horribly

By now, most of you probably have seen the footage of the two Phoenix, AZ news stations helicopter crash. Here's a view from a competing station's 'copter. Now, news comes out that the District Attorney is going to prosecute the guy who stole the vehicle for the deaths of all in the helicopters. He is citing the "If anyone dies in the commission of a felony, they will be prosecuted for their murder" routine.

Now, I actually agree with that law, however, I do believe the "spirit" of that law (and we all know how that doesn't mean spit anymore) is for when someone is innocently in a bank and a felon is robbing the bank and shoots them, or, for the innocent bystander in a 7-11 who is killed from a robber.

The key words are innocent. The news whores who have started chasing these police chases not only continue to sensationalize and encourage criminals to run, but also assume the risk that they will run into each other. They are flying too low for FAA regulations and therefore have a responsibility to the public AND each other to ensure that they aren't stupid. If they weren't so damn concerned with getting the "best shot" which would win them either local or national emmy's for "news coverage", we wouldn't have this. Frankly, these things should be a pool camera and that way ALL stations have the same feed. Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming these four men in the helicopters, they were doing what their employer told them/encouraged them to do.

It's not just car chases; each of these stations are under such pressure to produce something that the public wants to see that they endanger the lives of their own employees to get it. Whether it's getting closer to a building fire, buying "stringer" footage, or investigative reporting undercover, it's the "wow" factor that they believe gets them noticed.

Well, for the two men from KNXV and the two from KTVK, who are dead, I would think that the families of these men are more angry that their employers put them AND ENCOURAGED them to put themselves in harms way. NEWS STATIONS, wake up!! This truly is getting rediculous. I heard that these copters fell very close to a VA Hospital and honestly it's amazing that they ended up in a public park and not on top of further victims who might be in traffic or at home WATCHING THE COVERAGE!!!

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