It was reported today in a big red BREAKING NEWS banner by the Pensacola News Journal “Billings Killer Mastermind Gonzalez to be re-sentenced”. Wow…the irony just glows in this case. If the case is to be re-sentenced, a new jury would be impaneled. The jury pool is now subconsciously already being swayed with the irresponsible words that will now be forever out. “Mastermind” & “Ringleader” are 2 phrases that will easily push potential jurors to go for the more severe penalty of death. Emma Kennedy and I had a tete-a-tete about this and Ms. Kennedy said that potential jurors have the option to not read her article using both buzzwords to describe Gonzalez. Ms. Kennedy must not know that the PNJ is the MAIN source of news for the majority of Northwest Florida. Gannett knows that. Look at their revenue in the area.
Ms. Kennedy is also ignorant to the power of the internet to keep stories alive in perpetuity. Every story that slanders and defames Gonzalez is at the whim of any user via Goggle. You can get 250+ stories in one sitting. Every biased comment ever slung at Gonzalez can be rounded up in a nice little bow. Not once is he ever referred to as the “alleged ringleader” or “alleged mastermind”. After all, that reference was given to him by people trying to leverage their own escape from the death penalty.
Maybe since Ms. Kennedy has been improperly trained but surely someone at the PNJ has some idea of the impact of media and the potential for denying anyone going to trial their 6th amendment right to a fair trial. They seem well versed in the 1st amendment when they feel their rights have been infringed, but forget it, if you are on the other side of the camera. The more grave the crime, the higher the stakes for the accused as well as the higher potential for confabulous stories for the “mullet wrapper”.
I wonder if I wrote 250+ posts on the incompetence of Ms. Kennedy if she may be impacted by that professionally. My blog ranks pretty well on Google. Maybe I should test that theory.
Moral of the story is that words carry power. Not understanding the power of those words is willful ignorance for a journalist.