It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


NEWS: Should The Media Be Allowed To Break The Law?

page: 1

log in


posted on Dec, 1 2005 @ 05:36 PM
A few weeks ago a reporter for one of the local television stations in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania did a story on a lack of security at one of the local bus garages. He was able to walk right into some of the garages and parking areas, with no one even questioning him as to what he was doing there. As a matter of fact he was able to open the doors and board several of the busses. After his story aired the bus company had him charged with trespassing on their facility. A judge later found the reporter guilty and fined him $100.00. The reporter tried to justify his actions by saying that he was acting in the public's best interests in exposing the lack of security especially after the bus bombings in London and the New York City Subway scare.
(KDKA) PITTSBURGH A KDKA investigation earlier this month revealed serious security problems at the Port Authority bus garage in Harmar.

KD Investigator Marty Griffin and a photographer were able to walk freely through the garage and even climb into some buses at 3 a.m. without encountering anyone.

After KDKA broke the story, the Port Authority cited Griffin for trespassing.

KD Investigator Paul Martino covered Griffin’s hearing on Wednesday.

Griffin was found guilty of trespassing and fined $100.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

If you take this story and add the reporters who smuggled fake weapons past airport security and throw in the reporters who violate national security by divulging classified information, you have to ask “Where are the limits on how far the media should be allowed to go in the name of so called public interest?”.

Should members of the media be allowed to break the law if they feel that it is justified in the public interest? If so then who decides what is in the public interest or which laws it is okay to break? If not should there be reduced penalties for members of the media when they do break the law in obtaining a story? Last but not least if it is okay for a member of the media to break the law should there be a legal definition of who is a member of the media? Could an ATS member doing research for a thread topic be considered a member of the media?

Related News Links:

This submission has been reposted due to a format problem.

[edit on 1-12-2005 by JIMC5499]

posted on Dec, 1 2005 @ 06:36 PM
Absolutely not!

The media is always trying to portray itself as above the law, the fourth branch of gov't, blah blah blah... as if the 1st Amendment gives them special status. It's simply not true.

posted on Dec, 1 2005 @ 07:08 PM
I agree and I don't have any sympathy for this reporter. There were more responsible methods to bring this problem to the attention of those who could do something about it. He wanted a story and he got it, $100. fine and all.

posted on Dec, 1 2005 @ 07:11 PM
Not in the least. Breaking the law is NOT an option, and definitely has no place in professional reporting. They need to be held to a higher standard than that.

posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 12:47 AM
In my mind, all this reporter's actions did was make me question the veracity of his report. If he'll break the law to get a story, what will he do within the story?

posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 01:21 AM
You guys talk outta both ends of your tails here sometimes, and this is one of them.

On one hand you all think that the media should be allowed to have access to all kinds of classified information and be allowed to break the law in releasing it ( 911 videos, Area 51 Information, UFO stuff, any and everything the Busch administration does, basically anything that personally interests you), yet on the other if they break the law to cover a story they should not be above the law.

While I think its unwise to be showing security holes on public TV, so they can be used now by anyone before they can be corrected, how else do you think that these things get changed. I know from what I have done before that sometimes the only way to get a cheap company or government agency to spend the cast required on something that does not affect the bottom line, such as security, is to publicly embarrass them.

[edit on 12/2/2005 by defcon5]

posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 08:02 AM
While I agree with defcon5's post to some extent, limits need to be placed on what the media can and cannot do for the sake of gathering a story.

Another issue that needs to be addressed is a definition of who is to be considered a member of the media. It used to be simple to identify a member of the media befroe the evolution of the internet. Before the internet a member of the media was considered an accredited employee of an information gathering service and carried identification proving it. Now with websites like ATS and with some of the blogs having more readers than many magazines or newspapers the definition is somewhat blurred.

Should someone doing research for ATS or a blog site be considered a member of the media? Courts have ruled that posters to websites and bloggers can be held to the same standards as reporters when it comes to issues like libel and slander. Should posters and bloggers be able to protect sources like members of the traditional members of the media are allowed to do?

While we are at it let's address shows like 48 Hours, Dateline etc. For years they have used their status of being so called "news shows" to their advantage. Remember stories like "Ford truck gas tanks are unsafe"? Remember seeing the staged collision where the truck's gas tanks exploded? Remember the model rocket engines used to create the explosion when producers couldn't get the shot they wanted? I didn't think so. Last but not least, remember the lawsuit verdicts against Ford?
Jurors stated after the verdict that they had seen the show on a "news show" and thought that Ford was covering something up and didn't want to take responsability for its mistake in design.
Remember the SUV roll over tests? They lowered the pressure in the tires and air shocks on one side to guarentee the roll over. These are a few of the times that events were staged by "news shows" when they couldn't get the results that they were looking for. It almost sounds like an episode of Mythbusters.

Ever wonder why there are so many of these shows? Did you know that much of the material on these "news shows" is provided to the producers by agencies and institutes financed by personal liability lawyers? Next time you watch one of these shows and you see a so called expert giving his/her opinion, make a note of the organization that they represent and Google it. You will be surprised. Entire segments of these shows are paid for by these organizations.

posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 08:10 AM
I don't have all the facts. I don't know if the area was clearly posted, for example.
This case sounds a bit petty, and it seems the transit folk are simply embarrassed. They should be even more, now.

As far as the basic question is concewrend, the obvious answer is, no.

I'll bet you are all glad that reporter brought to light some needed revelation.

posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 08:16 AM

Absolutely not!

I agree, no one should be above the law, especially the media who on numerous times is out of control.

I have no sympathy for the reporter at all

posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 09:11 AM
In times of heavy state influence on the life of citizens such as we have today, the media serves as one of the last lines of defense of the public will versus political mandates. When the government is deliberately misleading us with the 'official news', where can we turn for truth and justice?

The perception is that we have been officially misled, are being officially misled, and will continue to be officially misled unless we seek the truth for ourselves from alternative sources.

We must be prepared to accept the consequences, and they may become more severe as more of the truth is revealed and the threat to the status quo increases.

posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 09:16 AM
What happens when it is the media that is decieving the public? CBS comes to mind, but they are not the only ones. The public is entitled to accurate information to allow them to make informed descisions, but where are they going to get it from?

posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 09:32 AM
You all know what many of the theories are about what FEMA’s orders of operation are to be under a true disaster scenario. We almost all saw those theories played out in New Orleans, yet there was this media thing that threw a wrench in their gears. If it had not been for them would we have ever know what went down there, and would the old director have just swept it under the rug and still be in his old office playing tidily-winks on company time?

Even if they are slightly biased, they are the last front line that has a large enough public following against those that would do as they wish or even just screw up and keep everyone in the dark about it.

posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 09:37 AM
I think the reporter skipped the part of getting in touch with the bus company to let them know about the lack of security and give them a chance to fix the problem. According to the article, he exposed the problem directly to the public without warning, big mistake, that's what upseted the company. What are they to do? Now they will try to set him as an example not to mess with them.

It's better to work with the company politely to help them fix the problem (without asking money in exchange, otherwise it becomes a ransom crime), if you fall on dead ears, then you go public.

posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 09:45 AM
That is why freedom of the press is such a key element of a democratic society, so we get more than one take on each story, and multiple, independently verifiable sources to cross-reference. That way we have an opportunity to consider the entire spectrum of a story from a multitude of divergent, even conflicting perspectives to arrive at the deepest, most intrinsic aspects of its meaning.

Armed with this greater understanding, we are better able to think in terms of outcomes, and make informed decisions concerning our actions and those of our elected representatives.

posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 02:18 PM

Originally posted by JIMC5499
What happens when it is the media that is decieving the public? CBS comes to mind, but they are not the only ones. The public is entitled to accurate information to allow them to make informed descisions, but where are they going to get it from?

That is what makes ATSNN such a great place to be a part of.

If someone smells something wrong with the story you can be rest assured at least one member will bring out the real truth.

[edit on 12/2/2005 by shots]

posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 03:16 PM
This reminds of a tale relayed to me by personal assistant Mr. Beezer.

Beezer had a friend who was upset about the amount of drugs being moved through a certain town in England.

This friend had pretty much unlimited funds at his disposal. (Heir to a British car company).

So, this friend started buying up small amounts of drugs, but alot over a long period of time. and dumping the drugs into the North Sea.

One day he got nipped by the coppers and was arrested.

The judge agreed that what he was doing was noble, but it was still illegal.

He was fined 5000 euros and spent 18 days impounded.


- One Man Short ®

posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 04:08 PM
he should've just recorded up to the parts where it wouldn't be illegal

ie: walk to the loading area and pan around, exposing there is no security to stop anyone from entering

pretty funny if you ask me

top topics


log in