Wednesday, November 15, 2006

"Frontline" Vs. Local Investigative Reporters

The New York Times reviewed a Frontline investigation into the muckraking journalism that deposed a Spokane mayor accused of offering city jobs to young men in exchange for sexual favors. I haven't seen the Frontline epsiode nor have I extensively read the local stories about the scandal. But I was surprised by the NYT review of the show and wondered if my impression of the scandal was way off base and unfair, as both the show (apparently) and the review suggested. The rebuttal by the local paper's editor seems pretty even-handed and convincing. He says "Frontline" came in with the idea that no one in his town could handle the fact that the mayor was gay. He says regardless of whether the mayor was hitting on 18 year girls or boys, offering them city jobs in exchange for sex was against the law and unethical. A state Supreme Court ruling (almost unanimous) backs up that claim. It's the same thing as Mark Foley: the far righters like Anne Coulter who hypocrtically claimed the Dems were homophobes got it wrong: NO ONE who sexually harasses kids should get a free pass, gay or straight.

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