I was wondering if you or any of your readers saw Ch. 6's "exclusive" interview with the Route 422 road rage suspect earlier this week.
While I normally admire Action News for the quality of their newscasts and jouranlistic integrity, I found this interview downright shameful. I understand that the suspect was following his attorney's advice in not discussing the incident itself, but what made the story so disgusting was that the suspect used the newscast on the most-watched station as a vehicle to broadcast his self-centered attitude. He showed no remorse and bitterly complained about how HE was the victim and how the media destroyed his image. What a lack of class!
Even if he hadn't gotten involved in this particular incident, he still carried a loaded gun in his car. Why did he feel he needed it? If he chose not to point or fire the gun at the victim, he still could have been charged with carrying a loaded firearm if he was not licensed to do so. The fact that he shot the woman proves that he wanted to hurt or kill his intended target. His actions of that day wipe out his overall character.
Action News said they tried to contact the victim for an interview, but she did not respond. Why would she want to? She already suffered enough from the incident, and it was only made worse by the reporter getting an exclusive interview with the suspect BEFORE interviewing the victim or family members. I can't blame her for not wanting to comment. I'm sure she's outraged!
Why would Action News choose to interview him, knowing the suspect's attorney advised him not to speak about the incident? Even once the interview was completed, the reporter should have realized that it was just a shameless promotion, and it is questionable why it even made air. One would think the executive producers or news director would have made a better judgment call when it came to the ethics and quality of the piece. This story has really shaken my faith in Action News. What's worse is that we're not even in sweeps yet, and even if we were, Channel 6 doesn't need to lower itself to this level; It's already far enough ahead of the competition.
RESPONSE: Dan, thanks for writing. You bring up some very valid points...points that, in my opinion, speak for themself. I actually did see the report you describe. I believe, if memory serves me correctly, the reporter was Walter Perez. I agree, the man who fired the gun (John Yannarell) is not the victim. I too thought to myself, "it's all about him".
I then read an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer that reported the 50 year old man had eight prior driving citations in Montgomery, Chester and Delaware counties involving the disregard for stop lights and stop signs. Obviously, this man has some "issues"...but, unfortunately, the media has to present both sides of the story. Channel 6 gave Elizabeth Cox the option to be interviewed and she declined. I agree, however, that he may have used the interview to slant the facts in his favor. But again, if the victim, Ms. Cox, refused the interview--what other option did Channel 6 have than to present "the other side" of the story.
Thanks for your email. Your thoughts and viewpoint are appreciated!