Below are the Radio Television Digital News Association’s guidelines for the use of hidden cameras in news gathering. The Left, abetted by the mainstream media, has sought to demonize James O’Keefe from the start. Not content to stop there, they have also used O’Keefe to demean and undermine Andrew Breitbart given their linkage as the ACORN video story was playing out. In turn, they also attempt to further undermine O’Keefe for any connection to Breitbart. In short, if you prove to be an effective fighter against the Institutional Left, any and all events, associations, facts – and even non-facts – are considered fair game to try and damage your reputation.
At the same time, a Leftist blogger can call a sitting Republican Governor, not just lie about his identity, but impersonate another, David Koch – and there’s nary a peep about the dubious ethics involved. In fact, the usual Leftist suspects, TPM and the Washington Post, for example, make hay out of it to attack the conservative Republican. Worse, not only does the Democrat Party ignore the dubious ethics employed by the imposter caller, they demand an investigation into, not the impersonator of a private citizen, but Gov. Scott Walker.
Governor Scott Walker’s conduct on the prank call with the David Koch imposter has largely receded from the national media spotlight, but if Wisconsin Democrats have their way, it will be the subject of an investigation by Wisconsin’s enforcer of campaign finance and ethics statutes.
If that isn’t clear enough as regards the double-standard employed by the Left and their media pals, you may recall another recent incident where NBC’s Dateline attempted to do a sting targeted at individuals who would dare attend a NASCAR event. Thanks to new media, in the person of Michelle Malkin in that instance, the plot was exposed.
On a side note, James O’Keefe promptly released the entirety of his video of his lunch meeting with Ronald Schiller, now gone from NPR. To this day, Katie Couric has not done that as regards a hit piece on Sarah Palin she manufactured from an interview during the 2008 campaign.
I have been talking with a producer of the NBC Dateline show and he is in the process of filming a piece on anti-Muslim and anti-Arab discrimination in the USA. They are looking for some Muslim male candidates for their show who would be willing to go to non-Muslim gatherings and see if they attract any
discriminatory comments or actions while being filmed.
They recently taped two turbaned Sikh men attending a football game in Arizona to see how people would treat them. They set them up with hidden microphones and cameras, etc.
Again, here are the guidelines for covert filming and taping in news gathering. Inserting NPR for “system failure” should about cover it. No wonder NPR executives are now scrambling for the door. Hopefully, Senator DeMint and other Republicans have the good sense to follow through on what former NPR development officer, Ronald Schilling, told us – they’d be better off without public funding, in his words. Who better than their chief fund raiser at the time would know?
Guidelines for Hidden Cameras
When might it be appropriate to use deception/misrepresentation/hidden cameras in news gathering?
You must fulfill all of the criteria to justify your actions.
■When the information obtained is of profound importance. It must be of vital public interest, such as revealing great system failure at the top levels, or it must prevent profound harm to individuals.
■When all other alternatives for obtaining the same information have been exhausted.
■When the journalists involved are willing to disclose the nature of the deception and the reason for it.
■When the individuals involved and their news organization apply excellence, through outstanding craftsmanship as well as the commitment of time and funding needed to pursue the story fully.
■When the harm prevented by the information revealed through deception outweighs any harm caused by the act of deception.
■When the journalists involved have conducted a meaningful, collaborative, and deliberative decision-making process on the ethical and legal issues.
Criteria that do not justify deception:
■Winning a prize.
■Beating the competition.
■Getting the story with less expense of time and resources.
■Doing it because others already did it.
■The subjects of the story are themselves unethical.
From Doing Ethics in Journalism, The Society of Professional Journalists by Jay Black, Bob Steele and Ralph Barney.