But why should any of us be surprised given their track record this semester?
Their front page article about the vandalism of ROTC buildings at UNC and NC State was fine until the Tar Heel decided to publish an email from the vandals about their political motivations for defacing them.
Our illustrious campus newspaper only furthered the vandals’ cause by giving them precisely the publicity they sought, and by doing so, the paper became a conduit for these crimes, whether knowingly or not.
Nevermind the fact that I disagree with the vandal’s message (I’m not going to repeat it because that would only make me a hyprocrite, but you can probably connect the dots either by reading the linked article or by realizing it was vandalism against an ROTC facility–it’s not too hard). I don’t care if the vandals were trying to gain publicity for sword-fighting pirates in Indonesia. They committed a crime for the purposes of furthering a “cause” (sound familiar?), and by spreading this cause the DTH has only added to the problem. The paper’s imagined, absolute devotion to “inform fully” seems to trump everything, including common sense.
Now, nevermind the fact that I fully support the DTH’s right to publish what they did. I love the free press as much as the next guy, and legally speaking, they certainly haven’t overstepped any bounds that they shouldn’t have. As a journalist, I like being protected for publishing stupid things. (It happens).
What I am saying, however, is that the paper has an ethical duty to the well-being of our community (and you’d certainly have to hold them to this duty considering their incessant columns from editors to readers about wanting to be “your paper”). They clearly ignored this duty when they decided to give these idiots the attention they so badly wanted. It was an oversight at best, irresponsible decision-making at worst.
Sometimes I just wonder what they were thinking, or if they even thought at all…