Fox Media Ethics
08.25.2005 17:24 | DISPATCHES
This is nice.
LA HABRA, Calif. - A couple whose home was wrongly identified on national television as belonging to an Islamic radical has faced harassment, and police are providing special protection.
Right. Mistakes happen. Best information. Hard to see what else Lofyus could've been done, besides oh, I don't know, going to the house, ringing the doorbell, and seeing who answers. And then maybe asking them a few questions. Such as, are you Iyad Hilal, terrorist? Does Iyad Hilal, terrorist, live here?
After the report ran on Fox News on Aug. 7, people have shouted profanities at Randy and Ronnell Vorick and spray-painted "terrorist" (spelling it "terrist") on their property.
"I'm scared to go to work and leave my kids home. I call them every 30 minutes to make sure they're OK," Randy Vorick said.
John Loftus, a former federal prosecutor who appears on the Fox News segment "Inside Scoop with John Loftus," gave out the house address during the broadcast.
He said the home belonged to Iyad Hilal, whose group, Loftus said, has ties to those responsible for the July 7 bombings in London. But Hilal moved out of the house about three years ago.
Police have patrolled their house since the day after the broadcast and now have a squad car across the street. Police Capt. John Rees said the department was "giving special attention to the family to make sure they're safe."
...Loftus also apologized and told the Los Angeles Times last week that "mistakes happen. ... That was the best information we had at the time."
That seems like something a reporter might do. It doesn't even seem that hard. Hell, I thought of it.
And here's another thought. If Fox is completely convinced that it knows where terrorists are living in Southern California, I as a resident of Southern California would much prefer that they call the police, not broadcast the address. If nothing else, broadcasting the address might, you know, tip the terrorists off. And they might escape and stuff.
Thanks, Fox. Nobody puts America in danger the way you do.