Wonky Muse
Wonky Muse

August 25, 2005

Serious Faux Pas

This is unbelievable. From LAT, via Kevin Drum:

For the last 2 1/2 weeks, the lives of [Randy and Ronnell Vorick] and their three children have been plunged into an unsettling routine of drivers shouting profanities, stopping to photograph their house and -- most recently -- spray-painting a slogan on their property.


In what Fox News officials concede was a mistake, John Loftus, a former U.S. prosecutor, gave out the address Aug. 7, saying it was the home of a Middle Eastern man, Iyad K.

Hilal, who was the leader of a terrorist group with ties to those responsible for the July 7 bombings in London.Hilal, whom Loftus identified by name during the broadcast, moved out of the house about three years ago. But the consequences were immediate for the Voricks.

Satellite photos of the house and directions to the residence were posted online.


"I thought it might help police in that area now that we have positively identified a terrorist living in [Orange County]," [Loftus] said.

And this guy is a former U.S. prosecutor?! How about calling law enforcement or Homeland Security instead of broadcasting your terrorist suspicions to millions of people on national tv?

Yes this is Fox, home of tabloid journalism and talking points reporting, but even they hit a new low with this one. When you claim on the air that people living in a certain house are terrorists and then post directions and satellite photos of that house on the internet, you cross the line from irresponsible reporting to reckless endangerment.

As of this writing, Fox and Loftus have apologized to the Voricks but not issued a retraction. I hope the Voricks got themselves a good lawyer.

And while we're at it, where's the FCC? If there's anything that deserves at a minimum, a rebuke and/or a hefty fine, this is it.

posted at 7:33 PM by Wonky Muse

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"Sapere Aude."
(Dare to Know)
-- Epistularum Liber Primus, Horace

Wonk (noun): def. A political nerd. Know spelled backwards.

Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.


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