The news business is an interesting one. But often not terribly ethical. I think a classic example has to be today’s adventure into the Haleigh Cummings case.

BNN and our good friends at The Sky 97.3 were the first news organizations to run with a story. I had been asked specifically not to share a name. The gentleman was willing to talk with me, but was very concerned that the criminal investigation might be compromised. I agreed to keep his name out of the press, and also to only talk in broad terms as to what was happening on the ground.

I did not share that name with anyone. But trust me, I got grilled on the subject. A call to PCSO to confirm the information resulted in a rather reluctant, but very fast press release. The key sentence being:

Due to the sensitivity of this investigation, the name of the person providing the tip and the physical evidence alleged to be in this area, will not be released.

This to me says it in black and white. Only an idiot can miss the less than subtle hint. They did not want a name released.

So what happens? One of Nancy Graces gophers announces the name on her program! Great job of keeping your mouth shut!

One person that called me as this idiocy was unfolding made the comment, “Cobra hates Putnam County, you could not bribe him to enter it, this knucklehead on Nancy has just sealed the deal for himself, if he sets foot in Putnam they won’t throw him in jail they will just lynch him”.

Having been following this case from the very beginning I have learned a great deal about the PCSO. The sure fire way to annoy them is to report things that are untrue, and the death knell is to report something that they have requested be kept quiet.

Generally what happens when some press type crosses the line is that the PCSO close up tighter than a clam. That is clearly going to be the result of today’s idiocy. 5 seconds of fame on HLN means 5 weeks of famine for everyone else in the press.

Great job!

Simon Barrett

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