A Texas television station suspended a reporter after berating a 70-year-old man who had to shoot two burglars in the last three weeks. Rebecca Aguilar, who had just won an award for Hispanic journalists last week, stood over James Walton as he sat in his car, tearfully trying to answer such questions as "Are you a trigger happy kind of person? Is that what what you wanted to do? Shoot to kill?" The report created a huge backlash of anger in Texas, and via Dan Riehl, Michelle Malkin, and Instapundit, you can see it for yourself:
Bear in mind that this is an old man who lives at his business, who has had to defend himself twice against intruders in the last three weeks. Prior to these two incidents, he called police forty-two times to protect him against intruders, and that strategy obviously had not paid off. In these two latest incidents, the intruders didn't confine themselves to the yard, but broke into the residence itself. Walton obviously is a man under siege, and Aguilar comes across as a bully and ignorant about the facts of the case.
However, is it really fair to suspend Aguilar, or at least Aguilar alone? I doubt that she hijacked KDFW's transmitter and went pirate to get this story on the air. News broadcasts have managing editors, and the Fox station would be no exception to this. Someone approved this for broadcast, and in so doing endorsed Aguilar's methods and report. How, then, can management turn around and suspend only Aguilar?
I don't mean to argue on Aguilar's behalf for the report. It demonstrates the typically snide and biased reporting that occurs on gun issues especially, and it shows what happens when reporters have an agenda other than getting the facts to the public. All of that can be said for the editor(s) who approved this segment for airing -- and we don't see them out of work. If Aguilar has some unpaid leave coming as a result of this incident, at least one other person should be joining her.