The on-camera response of a 4-year-old boy who witnessed the shooting death of his 16-year-old neighbor was intentionally manipulated by WBBM-TV, the CBS affiliate in Chicago, to distort and pervert the meaning of the child’s words.
In a report about violence in the city, CBS aired a video in which a reporter asks the boy “What are you going to do when you get older?” The boy’s answer was, “I’m going to have me a gun!” CBS edited out the rest of the boy’s statement to make him appear to be an example of a young black man prone to violence.
According to video obtained by the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, the full interview went like this:
Reporter: “Boy, you ain’t scared of nothing! Damn! When you get older are you going to stay away from all these guns?”
Reporter: “No? What are you going to do when you get older?”
Boy: “I’m going to have me a gun!”
Reporter: “You are! Why do you want to do that?”
Boy: “I’m going to be the police!”
CBS is under fire for what many are calling a clear violation of journalistic ethics. “This decision reveals a lack of understanding of the very basic tenets of journalism,” said Hagit Limor, president of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Read more (including CBS affiliate WBBM’s apology) at HuffingtonPost.com.