Privacy vs the Press
But. A. Partial production funding for privacy vs. the press is made possible by the Rutland Herald in celebration of its 2 100th anniversary covering Vermont since 1794. A murder is a front page story and murder of anyone. You know somebody from the other side of the tracks. I think the mother of any but in my opinion you got it yet to. Cure. The appetite. People need to put a face with this. Guy. We've got to give them the competition is to be first. The competition is to have a headline competition is it's a business.
We're convicting this guy and we could be wrong. We've got an incredible egg on our face. I don't have to publish broadcast but I'm going to indulge my curiosity until somebody tells me to get out. I'm not an editor. And it's not my job to make those decisions and if you think it's newsworthy I'll try to come up with a way to defend you if you get sued. And that's what the press can do to a judge. And that's why the judge is not going to some judge I don't know that never is going to clamp down on somebody that's trespassing if they have that badge it says Press. From the College of St. Joseph in Rutland Vermont presents privacy vs. the press. A roleplaying symposium on the legal and ethical questions surrounding the individual's right to privacy vs. freedom of the press. The moderator is Harvard law professor Arthur Miller. I will call our hypothetical community ideally.
It's a lovely lovely lovely community. It's diverse. It's a medium sized city maybe 200000 people in it and by and large people a very very very happy in idyllic but Elias night a terrible terrible terrible thing happened. There was a murder the murdered person is a young lady 20 years of age. Her name is Agnes St. Mark. Her body was found this morning in a garbage bag. She had been raped and very badly beaten John. In this community as I've described it
this is a big story. This is still a big story and since people are so happy a murder is a front page story and murder of anyone you know somebody from the other side of the track. I think the murder of anyone any and ideally Yes well it happens that Agnes saying Mark is the daughter of the mayor. It's a really big story. Wow how big is really big. Well this is it's above the fold as we say above the fold now. What does that mean for people who aren't with the junk jargon above the fold is the top half of the paper that you see on the newsstand. The first thing that you see and first thing you first thing you see oh what what what what what's the headline. You know geez we think about that a little bit. Really we would. Yeah but. Let's face it John it's only a little thing about the.
Mayor's daughter murdered that scene that really think seventy two point as we are eighty point one hundred point how many people WOULD YOU PUT ON THE STORY. Several assigned them for me. Well there'd be the cop. Somebody would cover the cops. Somebody would cover the family. Somebody would cover the community. B photo photography and several locations that they've apprehended somebody you know. But I say cops the police station. Jailhouse Marsalis How about you know we're covering it live. Why. Do you think the perp walk as it were when the perpetrator is marched into the police station to be arraigned fingerprint or prepared for arraignment. I mean when when Dirk Doogan is
when Dirk is brought down. How do we how do you find out when the famous perp walk will take place. Does Ideally you have a system of elected prosecutors. Well let's say yeah he's probably or she's probably called us let me coursed Leno to you well no letdowns or is going to be a moron. No the police are very proud of their work. They have arrested Dirk. They have wrapped this case up very quickly it's a crime that has horrified the community and the police and the prosecutor the police are eager to prove their competence the prosecutor is eager to show that this is going to be front burner and very important that our story calls have that's a very polite way of saying that the police and the prosecutor want to convict her in the media and youre going to help. You're right more. Or do I put it.
Strongly. John you've got to be very You're the ace reporter I'm going to be there because I don't always trust the police and sometimes they'll tell you a certain time and it could happen an hour before it could happen an hour later I'm going to sit on the back door of the police station where I always get the suspects being brought in. And I might have another photographer with me who's going to cover the other entrance and that sounds ok. If were you John. He's your photographer that's good that's good. Now Fred you were you were the TV person from arceo right. What do you do. Where are you going to set up. We're going to have all the entrances. If we don't have a camera there we're going to have one of our representatives there because as John said the cops will tell you one thing and she screwed him out the back maybe the lawyer worked a deal with the with the police chief or some you don't know so you got to have all your options covered you've got to have the back door you've got have somebody going out the back door the side door because
you need you need you need a photo of this guy. Why. Well you've got to you've got to get my pin you got it you got to cure the appetite the people need to put a face with this crime and and we've got to give it to them. It's your job to give the people the face of the label what's right and do it they're going to come out of their houses down to the police station and look for it. Were you ready for the perp walk. Oh yeah we got about eight cameras that were alive for sure. Someone from. We are there and am I jumping ahead if I say we're going to ask him questions you know what you. Know I think on Friday the first question's going to be wow wait a second way that you have no right. Yeah it's great he's still me with the how like if you see the van pull up right you see the back door of the van open right. You see a figure emerge you ready I'm ready you ready he's ready he's ready more than me I'm going to get it. You're close right with your spill cam and you can shoot from a distance. Sure I got a great lens. OK here
comes the perp walk. Marcellus wants questions right. Ready. You got it. Well did you. Well I think we we do that photo and then we go to the high school yearbook. Yeah. That photo going on the front page I swear you know. This photo. Maybe maybe along with something else maybe along with a photo from some more recent past not just the high school yearbook photo of evening news. Let me just one point of clarification. Are we sure that this is Dirk store. OK. Saying the same thing on the fourth and told you when the perp walk was going to work are you. Sure it's going to end my crime reporter likewise is looking for high school yearbook
looking for neighbors looking for the person is going to say she was such a nice guy. I mean I can't believe that Dirk did it. Tony if the police really are proud of what they've done in this case he's going to have his jacket down and his back is not going to pull it up over his head. No word he has no privacy. This alleged perpetrator has had done has been convicted of nothing of nothing. He gets no privacy. Not yet not yet not yet. OK look let's follow this out. You said you had a reporter with the family or with the family reported with the family. John you want to be the reporter with the family I know you're not a reporter anymore. Tell me if you went to interview the family let's say I'm Agnes's father I'm the mayor of ideality. Do you want to ask me. How do you feel about this Mr. Mayor.
Well you know it's an unimaginable tragedy. This wonderful vibrant daughter of what did your daughter have any prior Quenton swich the alleged perpetrator. I've never heard of this guy before. I don't. I have I have no idea why he might have murdered her. That's why I'm not a reporter anymore. Tony got questions for me. I'm not sure I want to be with the family at this point. I'd rather be with a defense lawyer. You're going to only be were I put through your list. Well in that case I mean you've got a very shy reporter in that case. I'm not there right yet unless they invite us in. And really none of it will try to get in or try to broker a well I will try to get involve the mayor the father is willing to have an interview how about you Larry. I'm the I'm the chuck Stewart Susan Smith reporter in the newspaper and I've seen my
newspaper get incredibly bloody eyes recently and I'm actually going up to John and telling him whispering as he's sending out reporters all around the community to cover the perp walk and to cover the family. I'm telling him remember we're convicting this guy and we could be wrong. And we've got an incredible egg on our face. So I'm saying we ought to be doing at the same time we're doing all the things that you're talking about. We ought to be thinking about has this guy been set up as easy target by the police. Who is he. And I'm suggesting we go out and sort of find out a little background on him. All right but you're fighting the hypothetical. None of your reporters want to interview the family. There would have been told to be sensitive they could have hung back as Tony says. That's not it's 1994 that's what we do. We don't have to they don't have to put the notebook in there. And the mayor's face and say how do you feel. We don't do that anymore. And I certainly want to talk about his daughter though. He really does. Well that we would sit down at that point I think the right thing we would encourage reporters sit down and have a
conversation not an interview necessarily not. Cast in such hard terms but at least sit down and talk with the mayor and say we're sorry we understand this is our time. And. We have a long conversation about his daughter. And he would he sort of wants to show you pictures of a. Picture of her as a cheerleader he was a cheerleader. He was an honor student. He was indeed she was valedictorian I think Larry's point is well taken at this point. It's a gathering you don't know how it's going to turn out. Actually we don't know if the perp did it. We don't know these things yet but we're gathering is information may not use it. You think you'll do a human interest story about the victim. While I think I go in John we do a lot of gathering and then a lot of deliberating over what to do with the harvest. And do you know this picture of this wonderful young lady. Well I think our readers are entitle to know who is who is this victim
and would would would want to to know that her particularly of her father's being as open and cooperative probably the the mayors had a positive relationship with the paper in the past judging by what how he would describe him. So yeah I think I think that we would do a lot of harvesting and then decide what to do with it. And if you get a picture of a young lady like snuff that. To reforge future valedictorian cheerleader worked at the Special Olympics. First year of college. Yeah we had one like that recently and that's what we did. Where would you play. Well I'm not quite sure what the the a do we have competition competitions like. A lot will be determined by that I suppose but probably not more of whether there's a competing newspaper. Yeah that has some bearing on it as to not going to disappear. Oh it's no it won't be in the open. It may be on a section front rather than front page.
And let's assume there are two televisions stations in town where when you play it on the evening news well it'll be the second story second story for stories Dirks arrested after the perp walk Dirks arrested charged statement from the prosecutor. Why they believe Dirk did it. Second story sort of a profile of this wonderful young victim you know. Well you all were very action I'm sure. Go find out about Dirk. He's got a father living in town. Larry you want to go see him. Sure yes. They want to make a mess. Your son's just been arrested for a crime that we're not sure he committed but that they're saying he committed and. Can you tell me something about whether you know where he was tonight. Can you tell me something about his background.
Anything that would give some clue about whether he did it. But what I'm really going to play with you as a father is the idea that he didn't do it and that you have a chance now to tell me as the innocent reporter who's trying to get a fair story all about this guy and what a wonderful guy he is and anything is going to give me a lead that I can go and find out more no words you're going to con me. I'm going to play you. You're going to play me. That's a little better than conning. Oh that's a technical term. You're going to play me like a violin. I'm you are. Wow. Oh what can I tell you about my son. He played football in high school. He made second string all state. So he had a violent beginning. I mean. When he got out of high school he wasn't bad good so football players so he couldn't get a scholarship we couldn't afford to send called so we went into the Marines. And. I think he was a good Marine but to tell you the truth he was thrown
out of the Marines about six months ago for fighting. Great I would want I want to know all the enough details on each of those things so I could go and check them my selves and do Easy fact checks on it. But the I want pictures that you have of him since he walked through the perp walk like this I know you want you want a picture of him in his football uniform now in his Marine uniform his Marine uniform. You mean the one holding the gun or the one without the gun the one getting thrown out of the one of the home. Are you going to do all these computer checks. Sure. What kind of computer checks are going to do. I'm going to check his. Well you've already helped me out and giving me an indication so I'm going to put in calls to the Marine Corps and find out about that. I'm going to sit down at my computer at the newspaper and we've got the city of ideas and the state motor vehicle records are going to check and see anything I can about him in terms of his background from by sitting at my computer and to come up with a stack of newspaper like this
with all kinds of factual information on him that each of which is a potential lead for me to go and make a few more phone calls and find out who this guy was going to look to see if he has an arrest record. Absolutely that's. Easily done easily easily done to see if he certainly has a conviction record anywhere. Going to try and figure out whether his medical record is. I might make a call or two to somebody who I can't tell you about here tonight that the could find out his medical record they could find out where he's been living whether he ever had anything in probate courts that the other would suggest he had problems with wives or children or anything else going to find out everything I can and spend a while on it. No words if you've got friends who can get into information systems but you can't tell us about them. That's correct you believe me if I do I do love them. You know I I think that or they
could just say he just has friends who have an inside track to a hospital's medical record Department they don't even have to be on computers because the record can be faxed. You mean somebody whose medical privacy. Depends on whether or not the record keeper has a pal at the Boston Globe. It may it depends on a lot of other things too but that's one way privacy can be breached. And let's say the house let's say somebody at a hospital does and let's make it worse let's say that it's a psychiatric record. You see Larry didn't ask the question about the perp's psychiatric history which Dad might have spilled the beans about. That's a lot easier and a lot less fraught with potential liability for everybody going after medical records Dad might spill the story so he can just sit there with the glow. Well the Herald there were several years and sort of plugin through
whose connection the medical records arrest records psychiatric records. Well it's probably going to be hard to pull medical records up on the screen. It's still a little harder than that to get them. But he may have to walk to the fax machine. Yes. Or have a hacker friend. And I wonder if the reason he can't tell us about what his people are doing is that they're committing computer crimes by breaking into people's computers which has been done with hospitals but he's not committing a crime. He's lonely why doesn't he just ask you know the people at the home plus liability I don't know. Or receiving stolen goods could be as well. That person who was out with the family. He or she reports into you that the father in the in the course of talking quite openly. I was saying that Agnes had gone through a rape prevention course and he's very upset that somehow she was not able to defend herself and that the
reason she went through the rape prevention course was that she had been abused by one of her former boyfriends so that interest you interest me. It's complicated. It would. You're starting to get into areas of sensitivity I think where reporters are going to have to start thinking about well OK shall we shall we talk to the. Rape counseling center. Will they talk to us. How about talking about former boyfriends with the boys former boyfriend has Lowery working on every connection he can on the perk. What are you doing on the victim. Well that was the one of the I think that was the first question to the to the perp's father which is did he know of the mayor's daughter. Answer No to answer no. Yeah. But on the victim you want to talk to that ex-boyfriend. I think so. You talk to me. Well we want to. We would talk to the ex-boyfriend as always I
think sort of gingerly to begin with find out if he didn't fact know this woman. Yeah yeah yeah she and I used to go out and you know have a great time when when we'd ask when wasn't going to be out a year ago. You know this is a complicated one I think the it be a hard interview I think to suggest that he had anything to do with it. On the other hand I think you I mean that complaint she filed against me that had come on that nonsense. I mean this girl was into every kind of sex you can think of. I mean she is she was she practically get violent during sex. So you know one of those nights I got a little rough and that's all there was to that. Keep talking. Well I I.
I for I look what happened. I hate to admit this. I hate to admit I couldn't take it was too much. It's just too much I couldn't take it. So I signed on. You broke up. Yeah. Did you ever hurt or did your hammer. Oh you mean me. When was the last time you saw me. That's what I mean. I know she made this claim that I hit her but if anybody was abused in that relationship it was me. Can we call you later. Any time. I think that's what I would do and then I'd be off to the police. Are you going to print that now. Yeah why not. Well I don't think you have it doesn't sound like this guy is a totally reliable character. Why is he studying for the ministry now. Was.
I mean last night you did this this magnificent piece recounting every achievement in the victim's life. You talked about her being a cheerleader working for the Special Olympics being valedictorian. Everybody's like we heart that you're all the reporters out digging up every piece of dirt about this guy and the Marine. At the moment this guy's not arrested. The other guy is what would you do Tony. Right now I wouldn't do anything. This is not yet relevant this is nothing to suggest that there's anything that she has done that caused her to be murdered. There's no cause and effect. So you just keep. Just hold on to it. There's an entry in the file. Maybe go to boyfriend number two.
Or three. But it's not a story not a story not a story not a story. I'm not even sure it's a it's a main line of inquiry. Not yet in spite of the fact that you have that side bar on the front page that practically put a halo around her neck. Is this the same day or the next day the next morning was the same day you know really and I decide where I might have been on page five. Ellen you think this is a start. From a journalistic point of view absolutely I think that this is something that perhaps should be taken back to the newsroom and gone over with the editor. But I believe as a matter of fact I lived through it that there. That it would make the headlines in one form or another. Not by every newspaper not by every journalist but somebody out there some unscrupulous reporter would make sure an editor and publisher would know she learned a little about her. Marcellus every unscrupulous reporter. Well what about this complaint was a
dismissed. Yeah. This mess this mess for oh what do you think Arthur there's I hear in Ellen's voice that she's telling us the way she thinks it is namely that somebody out there is going to tell the readership or the viewership that at least some ex-boyfriend says she played rough house sex. So the thing to do is look for others who might say the same thing. If you begin to get a picture that this is not the angel that we've heard about then you've got something to go with. I don't think it's that much. You know this blame the victim tactics that that goes on all the time. Is is pretty much it's fodder for the public I mean everybody wants to put distance between themselves and a victim of crime especially a female. And so it's easy for the public to grasp onto things like this and say oh well you know she did this and I would not have done that so I wouldn't be in her position and I wouldn't get murdered and I would be in the park at that hour and all of these things start to add up into media
hysteria where the more information you can feed them about the victim and why she was murdered even if she was it was she it's perceived that she was a part of her own death. It puts kind of blinders on on people and makes them think that they concede your point but it's I would still gather that information and weigh it very carefully in the processing and I would hope you would see I met you and I know that you would be OK but neither would I be mad robbers. So yes I have. What do you think. Clearly no one wants to be the victim of the ultimate crime of murder. And I just don't think you start trying the victim's reputation and till that gets to the point that it is actually put into the public domain by the defendant by the defendant's lawyer by an actual party in the case. If that is allowed under the law now there are rape shield laws that don't allow rape victim's history to get in but there generally are not laws that protect the history of a murder Tiffin as we're finding out with the cold Brown Simpson Inman and someone every year really.
John John you're you're oh a member of this community. You're shocked by this murder. This violates the peace of your community. If you want to know this you think the media should tell you what they really know about Agnes St. Mark the good and the bad. No. Why not. Well what I want what I would want would be to have a situation where the media has done its work very thoroughly I would not want a reaction by the media because the competition is to be first. The competition is to have a headline. The competition is it's a business. And I would prefer to see the media act responsibly and take the time to do a better job of truly understanding the case before we go out with
a with the headline pieces. Yeah well let me let me play it out Larry before you do. He says to you you must try it. One of the real tragedies here is that after we got out of the Marines he seemed to straighten itself out. Matter of fact he took up photography and he opened the commercial photography studio over on ninth maple. I was good at it. Real Cool yeah you know I don't think I told the police about my neighborhood. Great. Why don't you tell the police will tell the police tomorrow morning in our newspaper about 1984 so you can hold up on that for a day. But I think what I'm going to do with
you know is I'm going to pursue being the cynical reporter or the aggressive tough reporter. I'm going to pursue both angles here we've got one angle of this guy being a screw up who gets kicked out of the Marines in a very unsympathetic courtroom putting together here and the other is this is a wonderful guy who after he had these early difficulties like playing football and being kicked out of the Marines has set up a photography studio and is doing well and I think that the maybe the police screwed up here maybe they arrested the wrong guy or sun up have it the favorable portrait of this man it is one you ask. You asked the father to tell what a great guy he was a man and his father what's going on here. The press compensating for an earlier miscalculation and maybe with the same with a victim as well. The press is definitely as a reporter I'm definitely asking things relating the story what creating a story or doing what you as John Q. Public in the situation told me to do after I screwed up in the chuck Stewart and Susan Smith cases. You said look at all sides and make sure that we're
not going after the wrong perpetrator here we're not trying to blame the victim here. We're just trying to make sure that the police and the prosecutor weren't too aggressive in picking out a guy. I've got to ask you what race is your son. Is that relevant. It might be in terms of the police is the fact that he's white. And Agnes was black. Daughter of the first black mayor of our community make a difference. It makes less tell me Larry if you want to check out the maple I want to check out everything you've told me I'm definitely right out of my own with a knife in me. Let's go over the ninth and make great we're going to talk at Ninth and maple. I'm going to talk to whoever's in the store right now. Nobody is there. Somebody sober her soapers there but there's a picture there isn't there. I don't know you see the sun use a Doogan photo. Sure so we're going to knock on any We're going to if I can't get in if there's nobody there. I won't Bob break in and I won't do
anything illegal here but I'm damn well going to go next door and knock on the store there in the store around the corner and figure out who this guy is. I'm also going to tell you that this namby pamby picture you want to go in that studio. Why do before I was here I want to go in that studio before I go in matter of fact Larry while you were putz around I. You see. His truck is blowing up. We have this motto our cameras are there and you know you got Freddy with you we know that John with you and I have my waiter and I have you Mr. Dubin. Oh I don't have a cake. But aren't you the next of kin their own shoe. I'm his father but he's 21. Does he have a partner now. Now now it's just Doogan photo. Would you let me in. I don't want to I don't have a key but there's the super. Well I'd like to get into the super will let me and I have the father here with the super let me. You think that doesn't.
I'm hoping in other words you mean you had about 10 that this guy can come into your home as long as he has your father with him. I know I. Do. Where is my father watching what would you what would you try the door handle. Of course it's open. It's not my. Own wind blew the door on the back wall. There's a picture right here. Do you go when the. Door Is Open remember that noise openers. You go in. Yeah I get that now you say that with with the certainty of a slight embarrassment I think I'm a girl in Battersea. I'm in the profession that rewards a lack of social graces. So I go in. So what we would not permit a police officer to do. You will do
perhaps because the Fourth Amendment only applies to the government illegal search and illegal search and seizure. Fred would you Rolly Cameron with them. Well I have a question to to to my lawyer I guess that the wind blew the door open and in the back wall in the back was a great photo and I don't enter the practice but with my great lens that John has. I get a really great picture of the shoot from the hallway half sure from the from the right from the street to street loved ones. OK so I got I got a new photo. This is your dream there is a picture on the back wall. You care what the picture is. I think I've seen a lot of TV I know what the picture is. Well it's a picture of madness in derk studio. Beautiful head shot.
I mean it's gigantic Fred can shoot it from the car to drunken shooting from the corridor. But it's not just a head shot is it. No it's not just the head trauma. But. Just a head shot. Be it different face smile here as if the wind is going for it to happen now. So. I want to go on. I want desperately to go in. You know I do I mean is there no one here in the audience who wants to go in and look at them. If we have good relationships with the police maybe we would get an interview with Dirk and we can talk to him or even better we go to our friend in the police department and we ask we say you have a right you can get a warrant here. Let's take a walk through we've told you where this photo shop is you didn't know about. How about if all were taking a walk through and maybe walk us through we make a pact with the car. You call it a pact I'm saying we suggest to them that this is something interesting there and that
there I always was taught that the media were independent that you were not complicit with the police. And there are today you're going to take that favor and God knows what you're going to give them in return. What we are. We're not complicit in the what we're never going to do is promise them what the story would look like but we're going to ask them if they happened to be going through now that we've told them about this location of the Photoshop. Maybe we'll take a walk through with them. You can return the favor now Marcellus you see what your competition is going to do tomorrow morning while you're standing there in the doorway. I'm contemplating thinking deep philosophical thought you think you might go in. I would definitely yeah. Yeah I would definitely go in. I don't have to publish or not to broadcast. But I'm going to indulge my curiosity until somebody tells me to get out. And so when you walk in and go around that band there's another picture of acne.
What kind of picture it. A magnificent full length photo of her naked. Well I take a picture and then I called my editor and say guess what. Yes what I I don't think I'm John. If I saw that picture of the globe other operator would not use that picture. See how that picture would ever get into the paper. I think if a reporter could describe that picture and there probably would not be a need to have that photo. But. Aren't you take the photo even though you probably wouldn't use the photo I see. If I if I start the way it is I would not take it. You would not know. I think that's what James said before she's not sure but taking information is like taking an automobile. I want to can be we've already had the opinion of counsel that he did that it is to take information that so you're offended by this strongly. Oh sure these aren't the people doing the investigation these are the
people they're going where police can't go and really where the public wouldn't go to talk themselves into somebodies. Is this his house as well as his studio I mean is he loved there back home with a cop there. Yeah I mean this is what this is the studio where he lives and does his has his business now. And so you know I was not in the public when it's closed. I mean it's closed because a guy's not there so it's not open in the morning. Mikoto means never about Vista Business is open only when the business person opens it to the public for business. And if that's not opened by the business person who owns it it is not open to the public. So it is it's trespassing It is not his father's business. So his father said that you're a friend of course I am. And Allen says it's trespassing. Yes. I looked it up it's a crime under the law but it's a crime under the law. Yes. Would it be trespassing or are you would verging to be photographing the photograph. It's a copyright infringement. But maybe that's true but I'm just the Ideally a judge and I looked it up in my little book in the book said that entering a business establishment without consent after the normal hours of business is a
crime and I know you would hang them. I'm not doing anything I just said I looked it up and it was a crime. Even when even when accomplished by somebody with a card that says I have First Amendment rights I hope Israel Hard know these folks are coming to me but I did look it up and he's not going to hang them because when these people of spring scream First Amendment then the judges always shy off because no judge wants to take on a reporter because the reporter can make the light the judge look good or not. And that's what the press can do to a judge and that's why the judge is not going to come down some judge I don't know the judge Judge whoever is going to clamp down on somebody that's trespassing if they have that badge that says press you a little paranoid troll a little bit. Oh OK. Bob by the way. MARSALIS It Tallaght the photograph of the photograph. And you see a letter just lying there. And on the top of the letter
it says Agnes S.. So it's her personal stationery right. And it says Dear Dirk you read on. Sure. What's the expression in for. Thank you love him. Right. Yes I mean I've I've I've already violated this man's privacy I violated and trespassed into his property. I've taken a picture of a private photograph. You bet I'm going to read the letter because. Because and I'm going to get as much as I'm not going to open any drawers I'm not going to open any envelope. I'm glad you have standards. I. Will. I'm I'm out there. I mean I'm almost a cop when I'm investigating and I may have almost a cop but I may have delusions of grandeur. If you're almost a cop why don't you provide the cops with outtakes and with your notes and with all the information
you don't I don't have to under subpoena Why don't you do it voluntarily if you're almost a cop. You should cooperate with them fully if you're almost a cop. Let's test that. Let me tell you what the letter says. But it says Dear Dirk. I've had it. We've had some good times. The last six months have been great fun. But you're just not man enough for me. I think I found someone who can satisfy me the way you can. Have a nice life. AGNES. Oh by the way that letter is sitting on a photocopy machine. I. Thought.
Are you trying to hire. A lawyer. I want to call my editor. Yeah talk to John about a talk John. This is why I have gray hair all the while places like you know there's an interesting little question that a little question. It's the proverbial why you have one dime do you call your editor or do you call the police. I call my editor. He can call the police. But he can also talk to counsel talk to each other. John I'm in I'm in Diggins photos photos. And I've got this letter. And John you're not going to believe it but this is this is definitely material to the case. What I would tell Marcella says and I think I see Channel 5s live truck coming around the corner. The only.
Thing I be getting sick to my stomach are. The only. First of all if he's already in there this is this would not be OK to begin with but he's there. This is happened and we can't prevent what's happened. Should he look at the letter is that if that's the question. Well you're there. You've already done all this other stuff. You may as well look at the letter. Don't pick it up don't touch it just look at it. So I copy it. No you should not count it. But take a picture of it. Well you've already done things like that anyway so that's probably the difference. When I got to watch your fingerprints I don't know. The only. Thing I don't think we're in the business of disturbing evidence if it's evidence and it might be. And so I think we take the picture and then we we call our own lawyers about it. Jane I want to be a lawyer here. Not particularly vibe I get calls like this on occasion.
What would you advise them. I would not advise them to copy the letter. I would not advise them to touch the letter I would not advise them to move the letter. They can read the letter read it and take a picture of it. Probably the fact that they're already there is probably putting them in line for some kind of invasion of privacy action already and that they are compounding it with every step they take. There are cases that say that you don't have to take a picture to violate somebodies privacy just being there is enough. So you're just compounding the situation with every step you take but as a lawyer I also know it's not an editor and it's not my job to make those decisions and if you think it's newsworthy and you want it I'll try to come up with a way to defend you if you get sued. That's that's and that's what lawyers usually they say they say charge about by the way.
The advice usually is and I appreciate that advice usually is. Well legally this is what you've done and what you can not do in that sort of thing. Ethically it's up to you can advise you ethically. We know what we call that plus a law you purchase yards and yards of fabric at the client's expense to construct an elaborate covering for your own backside. Well what are you going to do. You've got you've got a photograph of the letter. You've got a photograph of the of the photograph. You have a story. Yeah I definitely have a story. I don't think I'm going to show a naked or a photograph of a naked Agnus St. Mark. I'm going to show the pretty full length portrait headshot but I I will have my crime reporter describe what he found behind the corner. What about the letter. Are you going to read that on the air.
I want to talk to counsel for the station. You've got a problem. If you do that the deceased doesn't have a right to privacy. So you don't you worry about that. But the recipient of that letter does have a right to privacy but he's in the slammer. That doesn't matter he still has a right to privacy having having gone in and trespassed all over this man's property and invaded his privacy and now suddenly feeling pangs of guilt and I'm probably going to be very careful what I say. We're already worried about pretrial publicity. I am concerned about it a little bit but I'm going to say something about you know Channel 3 has uncovered material evidence to this crime after on the TV business. And I want people to know that channel 3 is out there getting those scoops. And I guess their lawyer I have to ask you Are you are you prepared to be subpoenaed by the police having just made that statement that you have found material evidence because it's coming. In fact it's probably already on my desk soon the cops are watching TV when we break the story on the
new news. And if they're not I'll probably call them. So you're so you're ready for the subpoena. I'm ready for the subpoena. And you haven't I haven't removed the letter. I understand that. Are you going to say what's in the letter you're going to say that Agnes and her had a relationship. I think so. I think so. Tell me what would you do. At the risk of sounding like a coward I have to tell you I'm not in there you're not and I'm still on the sidewalk calling for the call to let us. Know it's not. Let's make life a little difficult for you. Let's suppose your person is in there is in there has got its back in the end I did Tauriel room and I'm showing you the photograph that John took for him. I've got my lawyer with me. What can I tell you what do you need to know legally what I need to know legally is that is that I'm less concerned about whether it's a story it's a story. I'm
more concerned about what position we could be putting ourself in if we have to comply with a subpoena. I'm concerned about turning every porters into an arm of law enforcement. I'm concerned about being involved with tampering with evidence even though we've told them not to touch anything. I'm concerned about violating a crime scene. I'm still not entirely sure but agree that this is a story this is a story we're working on not just the story we're putting in the paper I'm not sure the fact that there was a relationship here has any relevant yet to the fact that she was murdered. I've got all those concerns and I've still got four or five hours to a deadline. Not to mention the authenticity of the law it's OK for me to do that my hypothetical. Coming up one more single of the competitors lot of your competitor will be on that scene too. There are some stories I'd rather not do first. And I'm not sure that's a big concern of mine right now. Ellen you have any difficulty with what they're doing.
Yeah I have difficulty from the beginning with the trespassing issue but I'm stuck on that. The letter and I'm stuck on the fact that it was Jane that said that the victim doesn't have any right to privacy because she's deceased. And I think that that's something that we don't realize any of us that you know once once we were dead whether were murdered or however we die. We're just open game for anyone to go in and take whatever belongs to you or whatever. This is I mean this is it. And I found that out the hard way so I have a big problem with this letter sitting there and that nobody is concerned about the victim's right to privacy it's just now if it should be touched if it should be submitted if it is going to affect the defendant. And that's my problem not John. The public doesn't know any of what Moore C-list what the others have found. This relationship between Agnes and dirt with sexual tension there when you wake up
the next morning you want to hear about it. I don't know. Not at all. I have no interest. Why not. I have no interest in you're a lifelong friend in the mayor's understanding what the idiosyncrasies of the deceased does to the deceased. Life was like it's it's not something that it's not something that I'm interested in. You know I mean I think I love you. It was a prior relationship between the accused in the and the murder victim. Oh I think it's relevant. And you don't think that's a matter not what we're talking about when we're talking about I mean the distinction I mean Ellen was talking about this this idea that people like to distance themselves as much as possible. But I mean there's a big difference between in a lot of people's minds between a murder by a stranger and a murder by someone with whom you've had an ongoing relationship don't you think that that's a matter of public interest. I think everyone's interested in the fact that this heinous crime is
taking place. But I don't think anyone is interested in someone else's perspective about that. There's a distinct difference. But it but it may bear on his guilt or innocence. It may. That that's not I don't think that it's relevant with regard to the deceased. We're talking about building a story around the deceased now. But but the other story that's running right beside the deceased is the arrest of Mr. Erdogan Dogan Dirk. And did he do it. Did he dating they did. I mean this is the first time anyone's even suggested that Agnes and der know each other. But you know when and why the hell didn't Europe always know that they're going to taxes your pay. The father denies that they were acquaintances and here's proof that they were. Which raises the question of what the health of the police if they didn't know this relationship why did they arrest this
guy in the first place and I want to go to the police and say Did you know about this. I mean I think we've got if we're at our newspaper We've got those extra four hours to ask all these other questions and ask the police what should we just collect against it. You've got a lot of we don't even know yet that she wrote it. It has a name and it's on her stationery but we haven't run it yet. We're just going to the police and asking them how did you link these two people together at the base just asking another question right. I also think that if John didn't want to read it. Aside from suggesting that he might be one at a tiny percent. I mean I'm not sure there's any reader out there is not going to read it but acknowledging that he's sincere and really wouldn't want to read it. We're giving him two hundred fifty other stories to read tomorrow and for the other 99 percent of our readers who will devour that story. We've got a responsibility to be out there getting it right not to necessarily be first but we've got information that nobody else has and we're going to figure out a way legally working with our lawyers and our extra four hours to get the damn thing in the newspaper. You're amazing it's a part of the puzzle. It's it's the wrong
material of news it's not news yet it's our beauty has given us. Exactly. We're not the TV station we've got the extra four hours to go and dig with that and ask lots of people lost lots of questions using that as an incredibly important piece of the puzzle that nobody had before. And when you're talking about a murder investigation like this pieces are small and they come slowly and we've gotten a big one and news you all want to read about it tomorrow night.
- Privacy vs the Press
- Producing Organization
- Vermont Public Television
- Contributing Organization
- Vermont Public Television (Colchester, Vermont)
- AAPB ID
- Program Description
- Symposium on the legal and ethical questions surrounding an individual's right to privacy and freedom of the press. The moderator poses a hypothetical situation involving the murder of a young woman in an idyllic small town to a panel of journalists and legal experts. The panel explores various ethical issues as the situation develops and new information comes out.
- Created Date
- Created Date
- Asset type
- Event Coverage
- Vermont ETV 1995 All Rights Reserved
- Media type
- Moving Image
Moderator: Miller, Arthur R.
Panelist: Kirtley, Jane
Panelist: Tye, Larry
Panelist: Smith, Robert Ellis
Panelist: Van Hoesen, John
Panelist: Parsons, Marselis
Panelist: Tlumacki, John
Panelist: Cambria, Fredric
Panelist: Marro, Anthony J.
Panelist: Hutchison, Al
Panelist: Waller, Adele A.
Panelist: Levin, Ellen
Panelist: Brown, Charles G.
Panelist: Casella, John
Panelist: Dooley, John
Panelist: Scott, Andrew
Producer: Esmond, Scott
Producer: Merone, Joe
Producer: Bloomhardt, Paul
Producing Organization: Vermont Public Television
Publisher: Vermont Public Television
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
Vermont Public Television
Identifier: P30592 (unknown)
Format: Betacam: SP
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- Chicago: “Privacy vs the Press,” 1994-11-17, Vermont Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed January 24, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-46-78tb314j.
- MLA: “Privacy vs the Press.” 1994-11-17. Vermont Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. January 24, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-46-78tb314j>.
- APA: Privacy vs the Press. Boston, MA: Vermont Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-46-78tb314j