Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pensacola Paparazzi

WPMI-TV (Channel 15) in nearby Mobile reached new heights of hilarity in bad journalism late this week when its Pensacola reporter, Jenna Suskow, and a cameraman were egged at the home occupied by manslaughter defendant Jamal Lee and his family. The incident raises the age-old question: Who crossed the line first, the news chick or the bad egg?

The answer is there are no good guys in this story. Lee is a juvenile facing charges of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter. His restrictive release pending trial on $100,000 bail plus an ankle monitoring device has been feeding all kinds of uninformed nonsense from the press and public.

Suskow is just another wrinkle-free face with pretensions to being a real journalist. The television station she works for is in a race to the bottom with other local stations to see who can salt their news broadcasts with the most blood and sex. She was accompanied by a cameraman with the aptronym of Cameron Brock.

Even prosecutor David Rimmer is appalled by the TV crew's behavior. Yesterday he told the Pensacola News Journal, "In all fairness, they're pounding and knocking on his door," Rimmer said. "You know how it is when the paparazzi's after you, when you're a celebrity."

Suskow wasn't only "pounding and knocking" on the door, as the video first broadcast on WPMI-TV shows. She also was tramping across the lawn with a long black instrument in hand, peering into the front window in the dark of night, and shining a strong light so she could peek into the house. That's the very sort of behavior that gets corpses featured on the evening news.

We take second seat to no one when it comes to condemning the wretched state of television news in this corner of the Gulf Coast. However bad it becomes, though, it shouldn't be a capital offense. Someone needs to advise Suskow and her paparazzi pals at the other local TV stations that this kind of reporting not only is abominable, but under Florida's "shoot first" law it could become fatal.

1 comment:

Bryan said...

I sincerely hope they don't try it in Okaloosa County, because dead is exactly what they would be in a lot of the county.

At a minimum they would have dogs loosed on them.