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This is an interesting article written by two pro-choice law professors about the recent PP/undercover videos case. In it they raise concerns about how the indictment of the undercover video makers might have dangerous repercussions in journalism. Do you think they are right? How do we balance improtant undercover, whistleblower activities with privacy?

 

http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/29/opinions/planned-parenthood-colb-dorf/index.html

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While I think that undercover journalism is important, I can't really think of any reason why Daleiden and friends should be able to forge a driver license, conduct mail fraud, violate confidentially agreements and more without punishment.  There are real concerns about protecting undercover journalism and I like a lot of the ideas in the article for protecting it, but I don't think these people should be the poster children for the cause nor do I think their wide variety of illegal activities should make undercover journalists fearful unless they are doing a lot of illegal things too.

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But that is their point. Some undercover journalists do in fact engage in deceitful activities. Take the abortion issue and these specific people out. Say journalists/citizen journalists were investigating an organization that they suspected was engaging in human trafficking. Would it be worth it for them to fake I.ds, break confidentiality agreements, etc? Should there be different rules for professional journalists vs citizen journalists?

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Interesting article. It raises some good questions about the broader implications. I'm also glad the questions were raised by people on the opposite side of the ideological issue. One thing I think people need to wrestle with as they consider the authors' points is whether or not their feelings on the issue would change depending on what the target organization is. If you support PP, would your feelings in the same scenario change if were the NRA or some other controversial organization you dislike that was targeted? If you don't support PP, would your feelings change if the targeted organization were one you supported? It was a little eye-opening, to me at least, to look at the question from both ends because I definitely "felt" different about depending on which side I took. And feelings shouldn't be a factor in this issue because the first amendment and the ability of journalists to expose public wrongdoing of whatever sort is important to everyone.

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But that is their point. Some undercover journalists do in fact engage in deceitful activities. Take the abortion issue and these specific people out. Say journalists/citizen journalists were investigating an organization that they suspected was engaging in human trafficking. Would it be worth it for them to fake I.ds, break confidentiality agreements, etc? Should there be different rules for professional journalists vs citizen journalists?

 

My problem is these people claiming they are journalists just doing their undercover thing really bothers me because it seems that the evidence shows that they were actually trying to harm PP through any means possible rather than trying to expose wrongdoing. I also wouldn't want someone making videos that tried to portray NRA leaders as baby-parts-sellers (which really is one of the most repugnant things you can come up with) or child abusers or anything like that. If you're going to portray someone as doing something horrific, you'd better be very sure that they actually did it and that's part of responsible journalism. 

 

As for professional journalism vs. citizen journalism, I'm not sure there should necessarily be a difference in the law.  I don't want professional journalists allowed to break more laws just because they have the right degree or certification. But I do think citizen journalists have a responsibility to educate themselves about their rights and responsibilities as journalists and if they break laws, to realize that they might get into serious trouble even if they felt it was for a good purpose.

Edited by Amira
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But that is their point. Some undercover journalists do in fact engage in deceitful activities. Take the abortion issue and these specific people out. Say journalists/citizen journalists were investigating an organization that they suspected was engaging in human trafficking. Would it be worth it for them to fake I.ds, break confidentiality agreements, etc? Should there be different rules for professional journalists vs citizen journalists?

 

And then who determines what the definition of professional journalist is? The question used to be pretty clear-cut. I don't think it is anymore. Could that definition be used to silence less-mainstream news sources for political reasons? That's not a partisan question. The definition would have to be broad enough to encompass legitimate journalistic efforts outside the major media without giving a pass to every person with a camera who fancies himself a journalist.

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And then who determines what the definition of professional journalist is? The question used to be pretty clear-cut. I don't think it is anymore. Could that definition be used to silence less-mainstream news sources for political reasons? That's not a partisan question. The definition would have to be broad enough to encompass legitimate journalistic efforts outside the major media without giving a pass to every person with a camera who fancies himself a journalist.

Excellent points. It's such a tricky issue.

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Here's a link to the statement by Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson:

 

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid3625010258001?bckey=AQ~~,AAADS7v-7gk~,hKJf6vsV-lqiqffWT7pGsyiIFAMTti8w&bctid=4725375894001

 

I think she does a good job explaining why the grand jury charged Daleiden and Merritt and why the fake ID issue is a felony in Texas.

 

ETA: I live in her jurisdiction and I'm very impressed by her professionalism. She is personally pro-life but she put the law and the facts of the case before her personal beliefs even though she must have known the firestorm she would face.

Edited by chiguirre
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Undercover actions by law enforcement agents fall into one category (with a broad range of impunity for stings, covering not just false identities but also possession of illegal substances etc).  Undercover actions (including false identities etc) by journalists fall into a different category (with some protections under 1st Amendment, but clearly narrower than the scope allowed to LEO).

 

It is interesting, and I think important, to consider the issue from a perspective outside the specifics of one particular case.  RH's example above, of imagining the same issues for a journalist investigation into PP and then into NRA, is a useful exercise.  Similar issues have arisen in the ongoing Oregon occupation -- mandatory sentencing, LEO response to protestors, and resisting-arrest issues have all arisen there with a different population/circumstances than that for much of the discussion to date of those issues has centered.  

 

If I'm honest with myself, my own reflexive responses do shift depending on the ideological side.  But the thing about Rule of Law is, the laws do, by definition, have to apply equally to different circumstances.  Otherwise it's not Rule of Law.

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My problem is these people claiming they are journalists just doing their undercover thing really bothers me because it seems that the evidence shows that they were actually trying to harm PP through any means possible rather than trying to expose wrongdoing. I also wouldn't want someone making videos that tried to portray NRA leaders as baby-parts-sellers (which really is one of the most repugnant things you can come up with) or child abusers or anything like that. If you're going to portray someone as doing something horrific, you'd better be very sure that they actually did it and that's part of responsible journalism. 

 

As for professional journalism vs. citizen journalism, I'm not sure there should necessarily be a difference in the law.  I don't want professional journalists allowed to break more laws just because they have the right degree or certification. But I do think citizen journalists have a responsibility to educate themselves about their rights and responsibilities as journalists and if they break laws, to realize that they might get into serious trouble even if they felt it was for a good purpose.

 

The emergence of "citizen journalism" is indeed a game-changer in all sorts of ways, some positive (there is no doubt that the dissemination of phone cameras has brought to the light... things that needed to come to the light) and some negative.  

 

The bolded, though, is key.  In the old print days, journalists knew that if they crossed certain lines, they'd be at risk for going to jail.  For some issues, some journalists knowingly took the risk, and some of them indeed went to jail for the sake of the cause.

 

We seem to have lost that understanding, or maybe that courage, that this is sufficiently important to me that I'm willing to go to jail for the cause.

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If they had used fake TX ID, it's a misdemeanor. If it's out of state, it's a felony. The DA explains this very clearly in her video.

Mother Jones article on it too for those having problems with the video (betting it's just me. My internet/or iPad are weird today's)

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/01/planned-parenthood-sting-felony-using-fake-drivers-license

 

I think it's interesting that the author of this also has concerns. It certainly makes for excellent homeschool research project fodder.

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The emergence of "citizen journalism" is indeed a game-changer in all sorts of ways, some positive (there is no doubt that the dissemination of phone cameras has brought to the light... things that needed to come to the light) and some negative.

 

The bolded, though, is key. In the old print days, journalists knew that if they crossed certain lines, they'd be at risk for going to jail. For some issues, some journalists knowingly took the risk, and some of them indeed went to jail for the sake of the cause.

 

We seem to have lost that understanding, or maybe that courage, that this is sufficiently important to me that I'm willing to go to jail for the cause.

 

This is an interesting look at Watergate and the legality of Woodward and Bernstein's actions. They did have legal counsel but there are still questions about the legality of their actions - one even raised by the men themselves.

https://verdict.justia.com/2012/05/04/revisiting-woodward-and-bernsteins-watergate-reporting

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I think it's appropriate that they were charged for using false ID's. They should expect that as part of the consequences of their work. The misdemeanor charge of attempting to buy the remains of unborn children is ridiculous.

 

I did pro-life work for years. I'm not the least bit surprised at what the investigation uncovered. However, I don't support "doing evil that good may come" (Romans 3:8). I know we're discussing the legality and not the morality of what the journalists did. However, if they are Christians, they shouldn't have been deceitful. There are more effective and honorable ways to save lives.

Edited by MercyA
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I guess those pedophile / stat rape stings are illegal since the identity of the "children" is faked etc. etc.

 

But that's not journalists, it's the government. The government can get permission to do that stuff with warrants and so forth. And they can be overseeing it, which is different from a random, lone journalist posing as someone else.

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While I think that undercover journalism is important, I can't really think of any reason why Daleiden and friends should be able to forge a driver license, conduct mail fraud, violate confidentially agreements and more without punishment.  There are real concerns about protecting undercover journalism and I like a lot of the ideas in the article for protecting it, but I don't think these people should be the poster children for the cause nor do I think their wide variety of illegal activities should make undercover journalists fearful unless they are doing a lot of illegal things too.

 

This. Real journalists don't commit fraud or forge government documents. They might use underhanded methods that most of us would consider wrong, but rarely to they resort to illegal methods to get the story. They are for the most part, law abiding citizens.

 

Also, a good journalist is like a good scientist in many ways. They will follow the story to the truth rather than deciding what the truth is and trying to make a story out of it. I'm not saying no journalists have desired outcomes, but the good ones try to put aside their own beliefs and opinions when going after a story. In other words, they will try to be objective.

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I think it's appropriate that they were charged for using false ID's. They should expect that as part of the consequences of their work. The misdemeanor charge of attempting to buy the remains of unborn children is ridiculous.

 

 

 

I thought the exact same thing.  There was clearly no intention of actually buying remains.  The purpose of the operation was never in question.

 

I do agree with the previous poster about people understanding the law enough to make a serious choice.

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I'm pretty sure most journalists doing this kind of thing know and perhaps expect they will get in trouble for it. I don't think Daledin was surprised by the indictment.

 

Actually, I would categorize Daledin in the activist category, not as a journalist. I think in general that undercover operations like this are a good thing.

Edited by JodiSue
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Didn't read it, but I want to ask, did they lie about the "facts" they found?

They posted the full, unedited version of each video online. If they did lie, they posted evidence of their lies for everyone to see.

Edited by JodiSue
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They showed the videos, but I think most people didn't really understand what the law allows and that the actions they "uncovered" were within the law.  The moral argument is separate from the legal argument. 

 

"selling baby parts to the highest bidder" versus "being reimbursed for cost of services that are legally allowed and that some consider beneficial" - it's a moral versus a legal definition.  Their actions were within the law.

 

(hit post before finishing sentence!)

Edited by goldberry
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They posted the full, unedited version of each video online. If they did lie, they posted evidence of their lies for everyone to see.

 

No, they certainly did not. They put some videos online, and gave an additional several hundred hours of footage to a house oversight committee a few months ago.    They also used to say it was unedited, but changed that tune after it was shown to be false.

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Journalists do sometimes deceive to investigate a story, but there are lines they cannot cross and they know what they are.  Falsifying documents and identification is a pretty obvious one.

 

This has happened before.  There have been numerous stories of people calling themselves journalists who have attempted to prove voting violations who themselves commit voting violations.  In fact, a whole lot of arrests for committing voting fraud seems to be these self styled activists who voted, or attempted to vote, under false pretenses.

 

It's sort similar to law enforcement entrapping someone into committing a crime. Committing a crime to prove that someone is a criminal doesn't give you a 'get out of jail free' card.  Two wrongs don't make a right. There are rules that investigators must follow to catch criminals, and they do have some leeway, but also some very firm lines in the sand.

 

So, going to any length to get the facts to fit your story, the opposite of what a good investigative journalist does, can land you in trouble.

Edited by redsquirrel
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They showed the videos, but I think most people didn't really understand what the law allows and that the actions they "uncovered" were within the law.  The moral argument is separate from the legal argument. 

 

"selling baby parts to the highest bidder" versus "being reimbursed for cost of services that are legally allowed and that some consider beneficial" - it's a moral versus a legal definition.  Their actions were within the law.

 

(hit post before finishing sentence!)

 

Yeah I heard about this via NPR.  Granted I'm half asleep when I listen to their news (we wake up to it).  I was under the impression that the reporters were being misleading.  So I went back and read that report on NPR.  I am still under the impression that they were being misleading.  Maybe they didn't outright lie (except with the ID stuff and how they represented themselves, but only referring to when they presented their findings).  The fact they were being misleading is the most upsetting part to me and therefore I have no sympathy for what they did to obtain their information.  I would personally be willing to break the law to expose something that is extremely harmful to people, but I would not be willing to be misleading about it.  If I didn't find what I was looking for I would not purposely mislead just to get people to agree with me.

 

Maybe they dislike that buying/selling fetuses is legal, but wouldn't just bringing that to people's attention be enough?  Trying to make it seem like PP is just some shady operation whose main purpose for existence is making money on aborted fetuses is despicable. 

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This kind of journalism is relevant in many areas. Ag.gag laws, for one: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/09/opinion/sunday/exposing-abuse-on-the-factory-farm.html  and another one today from the NYT:  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/01/opinion/no-more-exposes-in-north-carolina.html

 

Basically, there is a fear that any kind of whistle-blower journalism is being squelched by laws and rulings that come down on deceit by those trying to expose what is really going on in various industries, etc.  

 

I personally think investigative journalism is an important feature of our First Amendment. And First Amendment rights apply across the board whether or not we're in agreement with a certain cause or not. 

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Journalists do sometimes deceive to investigate a story, but there are lines they cannot cross and they know what they are. Falsifying documents and identification is a pretty obvious one.

 

This has happened before. There have been numerous stories of people calling themselves journalists who have attempted to prove voting violations who themselves commit voting violations. In fact, a whole lot of arrests for committing voting fraud seems to be these self styled activists who voted, or attempted to vote, under false pretenses.

 

It's sort similar to law enforcement entrapping someone into committing a crime. Committing a crime to prove that someone is a criminal doesn't give you a 'get out of jail free' card. Two wrongs don't make a right. There are rules that investigators must follow to catch criminals, and they do have some leeway, but also some very firm lines in the sand.

 

So, going to any length to get the facts to fit your story, the opposite of what a good investigative journalist does, can land you in trouble.

In NY having a fake id is evidently not a big deal at all. These reporters used fake ids to see how easy it was to get into bars with them.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/fake-ids-reporters-served-13-18-bars-article-1.440704

 

I think this is a situation where reporters using fake ids are performing quite a good service. And since they weren't arrested even after this article came out, I'm guessing that the authorities didn't think what they did was obviously crossing the line. If it's ok in this instance, why not in another instance?

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Journalists do sometimes deceive to investigate a story, but there are lines they cannot cross and they know what they are.  Falsifying documents and identification is a pretty obvious one.

 

This has happened before.  There have been numerous stories of people calling themselves journalists who have attempted to prove voting violations who themselves commit voting violations.  In fact, a whole lot of arrests for committing voting fraud seems to be these self styled activists who voted, or attempted to vote, under false pretenses.

 

It's sort similar to law enforcement entrapping someone into committing a crime. Committing a crime to prove that someone is a criminal doesn't give you a 'get out of jail free' card.  Two wrongs don't make a right. There are rules that investigators must follow to catch criminals, and they do have some leeway, but also some very firm lines in the sand.

 

So, going to any length to get the facts to fit your story, the opposite of what a good investigative journalist does, can land you in trouble.

 

Right.  Prior to doing an undercover "sting" that entails breaking the law (for example by creating of a false identity or possessing/selling illegal substances), LEOs have to get a warrant from a judge that lays out the lines they plan to cross and what the probable cause justification is.  

 

It is not comparable to what journalists do.  Journalists have protections for speech; that does not equate to a get-out-of-jail-card-for-any-means-used-to-get-the-story.

 

The thinness of the line between "citizen journalist" and "self-styled activists" only elevates the importance of people engaged in such activities understanding what the laws are.  Old school journalists get instruction on such matters in their training and supervision from their bosses; the new more individual sorts are largely on their own.

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I think it's appropriate that they were charged for using false ID's. They should expect that as part of the consequences of their work. The misdemeanor charge of attempting to buy the remains of unborn children is ridiculous.

 

I did pro-life work for years. I'm not the least bit surprised at what the investigation uncovered. However, I don't support "doing evil that good may come" (Romans 3:8). I know we're discussing the legality and not the morality of what the journalists did. However, if they are Christians, they shouldn't have been deceitful. There are more effective and honorable ways to save lives.

I think that charge is appropriate also. They were trying to buy illegal goods in order to "expose" PP. It doesn't matter why they were trying. That's not how intent is measured. There's no good intentions vs bad intentions.

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They put in lines they thought strengthened their argument, and left out parts of those same conversations that made the planned parenthood rep more sympathetic. Which wouldn't be as much of a problem if they hadn't claimed the footage was unedited. That is not journalism.

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This kind of journalism is relevant in many areas. Ag.gag laws, for one: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/09/opinion/sunday/exposing-abuse-on-the-factory-farm.html  and another one today from the NYT:  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/01/opinion/no-more-exposes-in-north-carolina.html

 

Basically, there is a fear that any kind of whistle-blower journalism is being squelched by laws and rulings that come down on deceit by those trying to expose what is really going on in various industries, etc.  

 

I personally think investigative journalism is an important feature of our First Amendment. And First Amendment rights apply across the board whether or not we're in agreement with a certain cause or not. 

 

I agree.

 

However, did they at any point mention that was PP was doing was legal?  If not they were being misleading and that negates anything positive they were attempting to do. Be mad at the details of a law not at an organization who is following the law.  Had PP been exposed for doing something illegal I think that would have been quite different. 

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This kind of journalism is relevant in many areas. Ag.gag laws, for one: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/09/opinion/sunday/exposing-abuse-on-the-factory-farm.html  and another one today from the NYT:  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/01/opinion/no-more-exposes-in-north-carolina.html

 

Basically, there is a fear that any kind of whistle-blower journalism is being squelched by laws and rulings that come down on deceit by those trying to expose what is really going on in various industries, etc.  

 

I personally think investigative journalism is an important feature of our First Amendment. And First Amendment rights apply across the board whether or not we're in agreement with a certain cause or not. 

I agree with this too, which is why getting the balance right on the principle, whichever side of a particular cause it comes down on, is crucial.  

 

Which gets back to the challenges discussed upthread, of legislators and voters' seeing the issue from both ends of the telescope (how does this law play out for PP vs. NRA, or Ferguson vs. Oregon) and also of journalists truly understanding precisely what lines they are crossing (which may well be quite different state by state; that's reality in the US) and vetting out their willingness to take possible consequences for crossing lines in pursuit of the story.

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This is an interesting article written by two pro-choice law professors about the recent PP/undercover videos case. In it they raise concerns about how the indictment of the undercover video makers might have dangerous repercussions in journalism. Do you think they are right? How do we balance improtant undercover, whistleblower activities with privacy?

 

http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/29/opinions/planned-parenthood-colb-dorf/index.html

 

That wasn't whistle blowing. It was fabricated lies intended to slander innocent parties in order to serve a personal agenda. I hope the judge throws the book at them. 

Edited by albeto.
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In NY having a fake id is evidently not a big deal at all. These reporters used fake ids to see how easy it was to get into bars with them.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/fake-ids-reporters-served-13-18-bars-article-1.440704

 

I think this is a situation where reporters using fake ids are performing quite a good service. And since they weren't arrested even after this article came out, I'm guessing that the authorities didn't think what they did was obviously crossing the line. If it's ok in this instance, why not in another instance?

 

Did this happen in NY? I am under the impression it was a Texas grand jury and California documents were faked? Or maybe it did happen in NY.

 

I remember one of the Bush daughters had to go to court in Texas, not just for being underage in a bar and consuming alcohol, but using a fake ID.  So, different states might have different levels of scrutiny, yes?

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 However, if they are Christians, they shouldn't have been deceitful.

 

If they were journalists with any professional integrity they shouldn't have been deceitful, xian or not. Once again, one's faith (or lack thereof) is of no indication of their moral behavior. These people had an agenda, to outrage a population that is increasingly persuaded by arguments to protect a woman's legal right to obtain medical attention of her choice. The American population are not convinced of the value of reducing opportunities for safe and legal termination of pregnancy. People who have abortions are not only clearly grateful for the opportunity (to the tune of 95% of women who report they don't regret their abortions), they are increasingly outspoken about it, working to show the lies that have been told for generations. People deserve to hear the truth, even if it doesn't correspond to their religious beliefs. People who engage in illegal work to ruin services that protect the health and welfare of Americans ought to be punished to the full extent of the law, whether or not they call themselves journalists.

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I agree with this too, which is why getting the balance right on the principle, whichever side of a particular cause it comes down on, is crucial.  

 

Which gets back to the challenges discussed upthread, of legislators and voters' seeing the issue from both ends of the telescope (how does this law play out for PP vs. NRA, or Ferguson vs. Oregon) and also of journalists truly understanding precisely what lines they are crossing (which may well be quite different state by state; that's reality in the US) and vetting out their willingness to take possible consequences for crossing lines in pursuit of the story.

 

Exactly. 

 

But what we cannot do is to say, "Oh, I am on this side of X issue and "my side" got arrested so that is not okay, but if your side got arrested, that is only fair and square."

 

"Content vs. process" is something that is taught to students of family therapy for instance. It's not the content of the disagreement, but the process by which the disagreement is handled that is critical for the therapist to be aware of. I think that applies here as well: it's not the content/focus of the undercover journalism that can determine whether the process (actions taken) are acceptable or not. What is acceptable has to be applicable across the board, most especially for the content with which one most disagrees!

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If they were journalists with any professional integrity they shouldn't have been deceitful, xian or not. 

 

Sure. My point was that if they are professing Christians--and I have no idea--they should be aware of the strong terms in which the New Testament condemns lying. I wasn't (and wouldn't) say or imply that only Christians are or should be honest.

 

The American population are not convinced of the value of reducing opportunities for safe and legal termination of pregnancy. 

 

It matters little to me what the current view of the American public on this issue is. Popular opinion does not and should not determine what is right and what is wrong. I don't believe any innocent human being--regardless of their level of development, their environment, or their degree of dependence-- should be deprived of their right to life.

 

People deserve to hear the truth, even if it doesn't correspond to their religious beliefs.

 

That's for damn sure, and on that we can agree.  :)

 

People who engage in illegal work to ruin services that protect the health and welfare of Americans ought to be punished to the full extent of the law, whether or not they call themselves journalists.

 

People who engage in illegal work ought to expect to be punished. I can't, of course, agree that the services to which you refer protect the health and welfare of all Americans, when those services put an end to over 327,000 lives last year alone. 

 

I won't argue this with you further here, albeto. Peace. 

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Did this happen in NY? I am under the impression it was a Texas grand jury and California documents were faked? Or maybe it did happen in NY.

 

I remember one of the Bush daughters had to go to court in Texas, not just for being underage in a bar and consuming alcohol, but using a fake ID. So, different states might have different levels of scrutiny, yes?

I only brought up the Ny case because a previous poster said that faking documents was always crossing the line. In the NY case, it doesn't seem like too many people thought reporters using fake ids was absolutely wrong.

You are correct. The PP case was in TX. But I'd like to discuss the implications on journalism, not rehash the PP debate.

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Exactly.

 

But what we cannot do is to say, "Oh, I am on this side of X issue and "my side" got arrested so that is not okay, but if your side got arrested, that is only fair and square."

 

"Content vs. process" is something that is taught to students of family therapy for instance. It's not the content of the disagreement, but the process by which the disagreement is handled that is critical for the therapist to be aware of. I think that applies here as well: it's not the content/focus of the undercover journalism that can determine whether the process (actions taken) are acceptable or not. What is acceptable has to be applicable across the board, most especially for the content with which one most disagrees!

Well said.

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 It's making stuff up if you edit the material in a way that means you are creating one big fat lie for the purposes of serving an anti choice agenda. 

 

 

The allegation that it was dishonest is a dishonest one itself. 

It's pretty much the only possible thing PP could do to even hope to recover their base, but it's disgusting and incorrect.

If they weren't selling baby parts, they wouldn't have had to stop.  Which they announced with great fanfare. 

Go to the original source material, you'll be amazed.

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I thought to be a 'whistle blower' and to get the protection of the law, you have to be employed by the company against which you are turning, and there has to be proof that you did make your concerns known to your superiors, gave them a chance to fix the problem, etc.

 

It has been said that Snowdon should get protection under the whistle blower act. He did make his concerns known and was brushed off, he did work for the government etc.  But I have very little knowledge about that specific situation.

 

There is also the matter that a whistle blower is telling the truth.  That isn't what happened here, according to this grand jury and other investigations held in other states. I mean, I know a lot of people want it to be true, but it just hasn't been shown to be so.

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And in any case, whether you agree with the actions of the principals in this case or not, the implications for freedom of the press, and more importantly for the function of the press as the fourth estate, which has taken some body blows in recent years due to the corporatization of news agencies, are serious ones.  My opinion is that the only thing that is really saving the fourth estate function is the widespread nature of reporting now, thanks to the internet.  I am increasingly concerned about the echo chamber nature observable in a lot of reporting, and at the reduction of fact checking and analysis in major news reporting.  This is a longstanding issue, predating the current trigger by many years, but I would hate to see either this or the criticisms of postings of citizen videos result in further chilling of journalism.

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 I think you are letting your anti-choice bias colour your view of the facts. 

 

I'm not discussing this any further with you, because we'll end up getting the thread locked.

Suit yourself.  I'm not antichoice, but I am morally opposed to abortion, and be that as it may, the journalists' reporting was accurate. 

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Arguably the Watergate guys were trying to take down the president. 

 

This thread is very much more about whose ox is being gored than about the journalism issue, which is too bad as it wasn't the OP's purpose.

 

Not sure what you mean by that.

 

Are you suggesting some are against what they did simply because they are pro choice?  Definitely that is not my issue with it.  It wouldn't matter to me what they were trying to uncover.  If they do so in a deceitful way that's not ok.  And I'm not even talking about the laws they broke.  That part hardly matters to me.  Who did they really harm by having fake IDs?  KWIM? 

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Arguably the Watergate guys were trying to take down the president. 

 

This thread is very much more about whose ox is being gored than about the journalism issue, which is too bad as it wasn't the OP's purpose.

 

I disagree with both points. Watergate was about exposing crime. This event was not about exposing crime, but providing the illusion of crime.

 

Calling out slander doesn't reflect on anyone's "ox." It's an issue unto itself. 

Edited by albeto.
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They put in lines they thought strengthened their argument, and left out parts of those same conversations that made the planned parenthood rep more sympathetic. Which wouldn't be as much of a problem if they hadn't claimed the footage was unedited. That is not journalism.

 

Another view regarding the editing question:

 

"...the Alliance Defending Freedom commissioned a forensic analysis of the footage. The report came out this week. Unlike the Planned Parenthood study, this report was done not by a partisan opposition research firm but by Coalfire, a third-party digital security and forensics firm with experience providing evidence for civil and criminal investigations. Unlike...the Planned Parenthood-commissioned audit, Coalfire had access to every second of released audio and video investigative footage. The Fusion report only had access to four full-length videos released on YouTube through August 4, and none of the source material.

 

Coalfire...released a report indicating the undercover videos recorded by the Center for Medical Progress are ‘authentic and show no evidence of manipulation.’

 

Forensic analysts were granted access to all of the raw investigated footage recorded by the Center for Medical Progress and checked it against the full length videos posted on the CMP YouTube account. They found the only events not depicted in the publicly available videos fell into five common categories: commuting, waiting, adjusting recording equipment, meals, and restroom breaks. All of the edited content was ‘non-pertinent’ to the actual investigation."

 

Here's another story about the report.

 

I agree that the activists should *not* have claimed the footage was unedited.

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