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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Is The Morning Call A Bottom-Feeder, Too?

Morning Call reporter Riley Yates got his hands on a sealed search warrant, and used the information to pen an "exclusive" about a possible contraband business going on at the jail, which might even include a corrections officer.

An angry District Attorney announced yesterday that Yates's story has essentially destroyed his criminal investigation. He claimed that The Morning Call went ahead and published the story despite the prosecutor's warning that it could endanger the safety of confidential informants.

In The Morning Call account of Morganelli's news conference, readers blast the DA. "Sounds like Mr. Morganelli is turning into a bit of a Dicktater," comments one person. But in The Express Times account, readers are blasting The Morning Call.

I'm surprised nobody's pinned this on Ron Angle ... yet.

Now Morning Call editor Dave Erdman claims his paper left out certain details so nobody would get hurt, and went ahead with the pubic right to know that the jail is a mess.

I'm no Riley Yates fan. He has taken every opportunity he can to blast Angle while pretending to be objective, even to the point of criticizing Angle's courtroom attire. But I'll be honest. If I had that information, I'd put it up myself. I'd consider it my duty as a bottom-feeding blogger. I think the public has a right to know and let's face it, DA John Morganelli has never been known for cracking down on corruption at the jail. He's too busy rounding up illegals and running for Attorney General every five minutes.

So what do you think? Did The Morning Call make the right call?


Anonymous said...

Stoffa has made a mess of things at the prison. We will be paying lawsuits in the millions. Please are their any competent people out there. We are doomed with this crowd. They can't draw a straight line much less run the government.

Anonymous said...

Funny, why doesn't the morning call ever think we have a right to know who is running for office? An article like this would be easier to take if they would write about important things.


Anonymous said...

Given the MC's circulation, few likely saw the story.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with you Bernie on this one I think there was an ethical mistake made here by Yates to publish the story even after asked by the DA to withold for the time unitl the investigation was over. Even though he made no error legally I think running the story hurts him from getting any future information around the courthouse. On another note I fault both the DA and the criminal division for failing to make sure that that warrent was not sealed it should have been handed directly to the director of the criminal division to ensure proper filing and protection. What should be done is have the DOC come in and do a inspection and shake down as Lackawanna County just did.

Anonymous said...

If Morganelli really did warn about jeopardizing the investigation or possible harm to confidential informants, this story could have waited.

I am asking myself, which would better serve the public interest? The fact that the investigation was going on, or having some charges come out of it?

Lighthouse said...

Another snapshot of the tension between liberty and authority.

On one hand society wants as much freedom as possible, including freedom of the press (though taken to its extreme, absolute liberty is a state of anarchy). On the other hand, society wants a government with enough authority to protect us from the criminal dregs of society (though taken to its extreme, absolute authority is a state of tyranny). The built in tension creates a continual tug of war between liberty and authority: Patriot Act, TSA body scanners, freedom of the press....

Frankly, reading both papers' accounts, I agree with Morganelli on this one. When the time was right, and the investigation complete, the MCall could have touted how it had the information but exercised restraint as a good corporate citizen for the greater cause, and then written its article of everything it knew.

Instead, next week no one will care that the Call had an "exclusive" scoop, but attempts to address problems at the prision will have been thwarted.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Funny, why doesn't the morning call ever think we have a right to know who is running for office?"

Excellent point.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Please are their any competent people out there."

It's "there", not "their." If you want to attack someone's competence, you should at least try to display some yourself.

Anonymous said...

So says Grammar Guy

Anonymous said...

I believe the voters (through a referendum) voted to put control of the prison under the administration. Let's hope the voters get it right when the Gracedale Referendum gets on the ballot....and it will. The Courts will rule that we live in a Democracy and giving a voice to the people will be paramount on this issue. As for the Morning Call writing a story exposing the wrong doings at the prison, I ask you, How can anyone be so dumb as to hand a reporter a search warrant to an ongoing investigation?