Sunday, August 22, 2004

Whoops, my bad.

That water story from Friday? Nope, I just can't let it go.

The issue for me is not the legality of providing assistance to people crossing the border illegally. I freely admit I don't know what should be done, but I certainly wouldn't deny aid to anyone in need. It just feels like I may have missed something in not questioning an elected official's role in this activity. Should he be involved in anything that supports an illegal activity? As a point of journalistic responsibility, should I or someone from my station have questioned his involvement?

It's not a judgement of placing the water. A charitable act isn't always going to be defined by what's "legal".

Ultimately, I hold myself responsible for being asleep at the wheel and not asking the question of Villaragosa when I had the chance. I'm not a reporter and there are actually union agreements that I have to follow. From where I stand, that union stuff isn't really what's important here. I feel like beating myself up a little and I probably have the right. See, I didn't even think to ask the question until the next day.

People who work in the news? We are not perfect. Given the opportunity, we might (under the right circumstances) admit that we're not perfect. It's a human thing to make mistakes. Regardless of how this situation should have been handled, I hope people who read my blog keep this in mind for me and anyone working in "the media".
We are still just human.

I'll get him next time.




(I think he's doing a good thing by supporting the water drive, but when I'm on the clock, it's not my job to make that call. I should be fair, unbiased, and balanced in what I do. Without making a judgement in regards to the people or issues involved. On this story? Yeah, I missed something here.)

8 comments:

Terri said...

Guess you didn't "do" the airplane crash off Malibu. I got a call from my office this afternoon when the call went over the radio but I don't know who it is and I'm hoping it's not an airplane from my company, a flight student and/or from a client. We don't know yet. Still waiting for details and all I know, so far, three dead one found on the beach.

Re: Should he involve an illegal activity? Probably not. The more I think about it the more I'm opposed. The law reads:

"A person (including a group of persons, business, organization, or local government) commits a federal felony when she or he:

* assists an alien s/he should reasonably know is illegally in the U.S. or who lacks employment authorization, by transporting, sheltering, or assisting him or her to obtain employment, or

* encourages that alien to remain in the U.S. by referring him or her to an employer or by acting as employer or agent for an employer in any way, or

* knowingly assists illegal aliens due to personal convictions.

So I guess, from what I understand of the above, he is commiting a felony by "knowingly assisting illegal aliens due to personal convictions."

After thinking about this since you brought it up, while helping a few by providing water seems to be an "okay"thing to do, isn't it also then encouraging human trafficking? Also, once a person enters the country illegally, aren't they also a felon? So, isn't that aiding and abetting a felon?

I am now an official AOSC (Airport Operations Security Coordinator) for the Department of Homeland Security for our airport. I found this out the other day and was quite surprised. The September 2003 FBI most wanted list, of 18 wanted fugitives there were 5 Americans, 3 other foreign nationalities and 10 Mexican nationals! In Los Angeles there is a semi legitimacy under the policy of sanctuary where police are not permitted to ask about a person's immigration status. A lot of these aliens are not just coming here to work but obviously see this as a great place, with material riches, to come for crime. I need to think about something else now or I'll never get to sleep!

PamG said...

Forgive me for posting on this specific page, but I'm mindful of Blogger's failure to pinpoint comment location when they send an email alert. This responds to the note you left at my blog. As regards the link to your site (actually, there've been about 3 or so during the past month), you asked if the line-thru was "just a bit of unfortunate coding". Naaahhh. In a nutshell, when a link has been visited, the line-thru effect appears -- I coded it that way so folks can more easily discern where they've already been. Since you likely checked your blog prior to visiting me, your site appeared as "visited". Hence, the line thru.

About that other matter you mentioned, my pleasure. In the event that I miss a subsequent post which really should be "noticed", pull my coat tail, ok?! (wink) There's an email button on the main blog page, right column.

Enjoy your day!

pam

magz said...

i warned/informed ya... i'm derious bout staring a campaign to get sponsorship for a blog party... here's a longish post for you

Talk To Us.
All Fields Are Required.
1. What type of issue are you having?
Something is Broken

How Do I...

Wish/Suggestion
2. Which blog does it affect?
No Blog in Particular maggiezfarm blah blah blahgging

3. What email address should we send replies to?


4. Enter a brief, but descriptive title:


5. Finally, tell us all about it:
How often do you folks re-read your blogs of note? My suggestion would be perhaps a few more browsers offering suggestions, since you dont seem to have the liesure to read the millions of (perhaps) more interesting offerings out there.
without committing my blogbuds without their permission, i'd like to offer a wider editing market to this endevor, we're all getting kinda bored with the same 'blogs of note' you list on your dashboard. And why'd ya bump beFrank off the list? he was hands-down one of the most topical and interesting bloggers you've listed so far? regards, (and you'll be hearing lots more on this). maggie baker

The more detailed you can be, the better.

Grace said...

were they given water and assisted back to their homeland...? I thought your job was to get footage of breaking news...Is it also your job to prepare and ask the questions? If so how much time are you given to research the subjects you report...or are you just being tough on yourself? I figured the responsibilities would be divided up...Does anyone specifically hold the title investigative reporter anymore? Are there investigative reporters, who do not call PR co.s for info, still around?
back to doing what is humane....we see pets being treated more humanely than humans in this country everyday...if a politician shows he is getting up close and personal with uncomfortable issues, it lifts my ears towards him...

Grace said...

were they given water and assisted back to their homeland...? I thought your job was to get footage of breaking news...Is it also your job to prepare and ask the questions? If so how much time are you given to research the subjects you report...or are you just being tough on yourself? I figured the responsibilities would be divided up...Does anyone specifically hold the title investigative reporter anymore? Are there investigative reporters, who do not call PR co.s for info, still around?
back to doing what is humane....we see pets being treated more humanely than humans in this country everyday...if a politician shows he is getting up close and personal with uncomfortable issues, it lifts my ears towards him...

beFrank said...

See, that's why it's not a simple issue. Elected officials shouldn't be allowed to pick and choose which law they follow. They might encourage others to do the same. A system should be in place to give aid where needed. My elected official should do his charitable work in private, not in the capacity of his sworn position when it violates the laws of the city, state, or country he represents. A politician who attends a press conference is looking for publicity. He's not going to have my ear. He's going to have my suspicion.

It might not be that cut and dry, but I'd rather not have to wonder.

Grace said...

u make a good point- and really it is irresponsible to break any law- better to work toward changing a law if it is unfair or inhumane...have you written him or contacted his office with questions?

beFrank said...

It's not something that I would personally take the time to follow up on. I'll get the opportunity to ask him at some point down the road.

I do plan to ask people at my station if this is something we should be concerned with.