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View Full Version : Four-year-old on TV news: "I'm gonna have ME a gun!"


benbradley
08-02-2011, 10:55 PM
This ties in with the "If a tree falls in the forest..." thread in that it's about reporting the news.

The child's comments were "edited for television" or something like that. Here's the news video (the first 30 seconds are reports of shootings, THEN it gets interesting), followed by a video of the 4-year-old's complete comments:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1sMwsVuX6A

Here is one of several online stories on it:
http://thestir.cafemom.com/in_the_news/123978/reporters_distort_4yearolds_gun_comments

Don
08-02-2011, 11:17 PM
Pathetic. On so many levels it's disgusting.

shadowwalker
08-02-2011, 11:26 PM
And then they wonder why we don't trust the media any more...

Plot Device
08-02-2011, 11:33 PM
Did anyone notice that in the raw footage, the TV reporter spoke to the little boy with bad grammar, and he also said "Damn!" to him? (Go to 1:00.)

Jessianodel
08-02-2011, 11:54 PM
Did anyone notice that in the raw footage, the TV reporter spoke to the little boy with bad grammar, and he also said "Damn!" to him? (Go to 1:00.)

He was quoting the kid because the kid said "I ain't scared of nothin". I'm not sure why he said damn.

Editing the story just shows no morals at all. Even the other girl they interviewed said nothing about wanting a gun, she just said she didn't want anything to happen to her family. But because they used the edited video of the little kid before hand it made it seem like everyone was planning to go out the next day on a gun-buying trip. Honestly I don't understand why they thought they could do that so no one would notice.

And it would be so easy to turn that into a more heart-warming story. Obviously when you're talking about kids being hurt and shot nothing can really be heart-warming, but they could have said the police have been a positive reinforcement inspiring young children to join them rather than hang out on the streets. I mean really, this is what they went for??

rugcat
08-03-2011, 12:16 AM
That really is amazing. Made a good sound bite though -- gets the ratings up I imagine..

benbradley
08-03-2011, 12:33 AM
That really is amazing. Made a good sound bite though -- gets the ratings up I imagine..
Exactly. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46bBWBG9r2o)

icerose
08-03-2011, 01:11 AM
That's pathetic that they'd twist a little boy's intent to fit a news story. Especially when the little boy's words had so much more impact. The fact that he wants to grow up and be a police officer and make a positive difference on his neighborhood is a fantastic thing.

Satsya
08-03-2011, 01:21 AM
From the given article:
What these "journalists" forgot is that kids are people too. No--what they forgot is that the duty of a journalist is to report the facts, not create the facts.

If they honestly can't find the real stories going on in the world, and have to resort to creating their own, they're hacks. It's time for them to consider a career change.

nighttimer
08-03-2011, 03:15 AM
This was just a sleazy TV station trying to assassinate the character of Black males by playing into the fear of viewers that Black boys like nothing better than getting a gun and shooting the hell out of the place.

It ain't necessarily so. (http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/als-morning-meeting/141052/chicago-tv-station-admits-mistakes-in-airing-misleading-interview-with-4-year-old-boy/)


A Chicago TV station now says it made two ethical mistakes when it aired an interview with a 4-year-old boy last month.

The first mistake was interviewing a child at a crime scene. But things grew even worse when the station edited the boy’s interview in a way that made it seem as though the African American child idolized guns and criminals.

In fact, the child told the photographer that he wanted to be a police officer. The station edited out that part of the interview.

A story published last week on the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education’s website (http://mije.org/health/young-guns) first raised questions about the interview. Dori J. Maynard, president of the Institute, said, “We have long been worried about the ways in which the media helps perpetuate negative stereotypes of boys and men of color, but this appears to be overtly criminalizing a preschooler.”
4-year-old boy: “I’m not scared of nothing.”

Photographer: “When you get older are you going to stay away from all these guns?”

Boy: “No.”

Photographer: “No? What are you going to do when you get older?”

Boy: “I’m going to have me a gun!”


In describing the story on the 4:30 a.m. news, WBBM anchor Steve Bartelstein called the boy’s reaction “disturbing.” After the clip aired, he commented, “That was scary indeed.” Co-anchor Susan Carlson responded, “Hearing that little boy there, wow!”

Another video of the interview tells a different story. Poynter.org and The Maynard Institute got an email from a source who identified himself only as The Chicago News Watchdog that included another portion of the interview with the child.

That version makes it clear that the interview with the child was taken out of context. Here’s the complete exchange, with the deleted portion in bold:Photographer:“Boy, you ain’t scared of nothing! Damn! When you get older are you going to stay away from all these guns?”

Boy: “No.”

Photographer: “No? What are you going to do when you get older?”

Boy: “I’m going to have me a gun!”

Photographer: “You are! Why do you want to do that?”

Boy: “I’m going to be the police!”

Photographer: “OK, then you can have one.”
As the father of a Black male, I'm glad to see the White media doing their part to ensure the world regards him with fear and loathing.

Poynter.org, a journalism website, suggests some guidelines be followed when interviewing juveniles.

When interviewing juveniles, journalists should consider:
Journalistic Purpose and Quality of Information


What is my journalistic purpose in interviewing this juvenile?
In what light will this person be shown? What is their understanding or ability to understand how viewers or listeners might perceive the interview? How mature is this juvenile? How aware is he/she of the ramifications of his/her comments?
What motivations does the juvenile have in cooperating with this interview?
How do you know what this young person says is true? How much of what this young person says does he/she know first-hand? How able are they to put what they know into context? Do others, adults, know the same information? How can you corroborate the juvenile’s information?
How clearly have you identified yourself to the juvenile? Do they know they are talking to a reporter?

Minimize Harm


What harm can you cause by asking questions or taking pictures of the juvenile even if the journalist never includes the interview or pictures in a story?
How would you react if you were the parent of this child? What would your concerns be and how would you want to be included in the decision about whether the child is included in a news story?
How can you include a parent or guardian in the decision to interview a juvenile? What effort has the journalist made to secure parental permission for the child to be included in a news story? Is it possible to have the parent/guardian present during the course of the interview? What are the parents’ motivations for allowing the child to be interviewed? Are there legal issues you should consider, such as the legal age of consent in your state?
If you conclude that parental consent is not required, at least give the child your business card so the parents can contact you if they have an objection to the interview being used.

Don't believe the hype. Or the lies.

muravyets
08-03-2011, 09:16 AM
Uh, guidelines for how to interview children are all well and good. However, when a news station gets a full interview in which a child says he wants to join the police force and be a cop with a gun when he grows up, and they deliberately edit that to delete all reference to becoming a cop, and when this truncated thing airs, they prattle on about how disturbing it is to hear young black people wish for guns, I don't think the problem is that the interviewee was a child.

I think another point needs to be added to that list of guidelines: Ask yourself, am I being a lying, slandering bastard in interviewing this child?

dgiharris
08-03-2011, 11:22 AM
Wow, talk about irresponsible.

Food for thought. If the media can misquote a 4-yr old like this, just imagine how the media misquotes Democrats and Republicans in order to get those juicy sound bites....

And then imagine how often we fall for it...

Zoombie
08-03-2011, 11:48 AM
What the flying FUCK!?

Seriously, WHAT THE FUCK?

Bartholomew
08-03-2011, 12:20 PM
Wow, talk about irresponsible.

Food for thought. If the media can misquote a 4-yr old like this, just imagine how the media misquotes Democrats and Republicans in order to get those juicy sound bites....

And then imagine how often we fall for it...

All the goddamn time.

-Bart, newspaper copy-editor, student reporter.

Broadswordbabe
08-03-2011, 01:47 PM
That's frigging outrageous. Ye gods.

Zoombie
08-03-2011, 02:24 PM
Wow, talk about irresponsible.


Irresponsible is leaving the beer in easy reach of your children, or leaving a gun cabinet unlocked.

This is malicious pandering to sell tickets by making an fairly innocent and optimistic seeming kid into a terrifying proto-gangster to further cement the divide between ethnicity in our country.

This is fucking evil.

Diana Hignutt
08-03-2011, 03:30 PM
This is fucking evil.

Now, you're catching on. It's sad to see your optimism dimmed in any way, but this is the battle we are fighting...against our ammoral corporate masters.

Don
08-03-2011, 04:39 PM
Irresponsible is leaving the beer in easy reach of your children, or leaving a gun cabinet unlocked.

This is malicious pandering to sell tickets by making an fairly innocent and optimistic seeming kid into a terrifying proto-gangster to further cement the divide between ethnicity in our country.

This is fucking evil.
:Trophy:

You have redeemed yourself. :D

Alpha Echo
08-03-2011, 04:42 PM
I hate humanity.

I feel bad for that kid. His ambitions are noble, and a cocky, arrogant, power/fame-hungry so-called journalists made the kid sound like evil.

Um...look in the mirror asshat.

Zoombie
08-03-2011, 11:07 PM
No, no, if I were to lose my optimism, I'd say something broad and far reachingly cynical like

"I hate humanity"

Seems to be like a very select number of people are being douchebags here. If this kid is any indication, the community has people within it working towards something better. As an optimist, I think that he and people like him are going to make a better future.

I love humanity.

I hate douchebags. They're not the same thing. One just happens to include the other.

fireluxlou
08-04-2011, 04:02 PM
Irresponsible is leaving the beer in easy reach of your children, or leaving a gun cabinet unlocked.

This is malicious pandering to sell tickets by making an fairly innocent and optimistic seeming kid into a terrifying proto-gangster to further cement the divide between ethnicity in our country.

This is fucking evil.

This is so true! I agree.

kaitie
08-04-2011, 07:57 PM
This is sick. Just so seriously sick. Zoombie summed it up well.