Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Local media's inconsistent practice of naming names

Yesterday, KSL/the Trib/the D-News announced that Salt Lake City cops had, once again, wasted taxpayer resources done some smashing law enforcement work, arresting a bunch of would-be prostitutes and johns on North Temple. This time, though, there was a twist: "They're going to name names!"

Like the proverbial car accident, I could not look away. Might I know some of the patrons? Inquiring minds wanted to know. But when I surfed over to tonight, I got . . . one name, of a guy who was a cop years ago. Whoop-de-do.

Did our local media decline to name names because they sensed this was a victimless crime that should remain a private matter between the men and their families? Maybe, but I doubt it. With our local media, there seems to be no rhyme or reason -- other than underlying speculation -- as to when names are named.

A few years ago, an acquaintance with a somewhat high-profile job was charged with embezzling nearly $100,000 from a well known local company. The News ran a piece on the charges, but omitted her name. I was relieved for her sake, but bothered as a consumer of news. Just the day before, the News had run a story on a much smaller theft in Davis County, and had named the person charged. What was up with that?

The bozo in Clearfield who shot a Carl's Jr. toilet remains anonymous, but the bozo who shot an Olive Garden chair in Provo was named. What's up with that? I don't favor trying people in the media, but a little consistency might make me less cynical.


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