We just got an email from a man who said he's sick of seeing the story about a Marine who assaulted a cab driver. I understand this sentiment, but at the same time, it has becoming national news. Here's his email (name omitted):
"Enough already!! How many times do you think the viewers want to see a marine beating on a defenseless taxi driver. Just in the length of time I have been composing this email, the piece has aired twice. I estimate that since the incident occurred, I have been subjected to the video of the beating at least 25 times. I am now an expert on the pros and cons of leading with the left or right. Shame you for continuing to air something that should have been put to rest days ago. I solved the problem by turning my tv off when wect is airing."
Here's my response:
"First of all, thank you for your email. We listen to all of our viewers.
We will continue to report on this case because there is not resolve at this time, and new updates are coming in daily. And while it may be uncomfortable for you to watch, I'd like to remind you there is a young man in the hospital with a fractured face and undergoing reconstructive surgery. He will never look the same again.
We are also trying to effort a conversation with the Marine involved in this case. There are a lot of questions regarding his mental state and his behavior. And, there have been recent cases at Camp Lejeune concerning health care and mental health issues, so perhaps there's more to his story, as well.
The issue at hand is that someone was assaulted just for doing his job. This is newsworthy. What if the man had not survived? You may remember a recent story about a Chinese food delivery driver, who was killed simply for doing his job. We will cover his accusers when the time comes as well.
You have the right to turn off your TV, but we always like to keep our viewers. Perhaps the shame needs to be put on the person who created this awful mess, rather than the news messenger."
We recently held a Google Plus hangout with two journalists and two former military members... to give a perspective on this story we haven't seen yet. I wanted to hear from two of my favorite friends online, Marcus Penn (Youserved.com) and Billy Stanley... I asked them about what they think of the incident, the media coverage, and mental health issues in the military. It's a very candid conversation AND it just so happens, Charles Hawkesworth and his girlfriend Brittany Schwartz were watching as well. They have a message for military members, too. (Scroll to about 45:45)
+ Sanah Sayani
+ Marcus Penn
+ Billy Stanley