Tuesday, December 29, 2009

NBC News Becomes Leading Brazilian Exporter in Goldman Case

In Pythonite Terry Gilliam's film Brazil (1985), a bureaucrat in a futuristic society who tries to rectify an administrative error unwittingly becomes an enemy of the state.  In its checkbook journalism coverage of the U.S. dad  v. Brazil mom custody battle over Sean Goldman, NBC News attempted to cover the story, but wound up becoming a key component of it.

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) has condemned NBC News for footing the bill for the plane on which David Goldman and his son Sean flew back to the U.S. after the father was awarded custody of the boy. NBC News was rewarded for its aeronautical largesse with an exclusive interview with the Goldmans both on the plane and after they disembarked in the U.S.

Contrary to the SPJ's ethics code that implores journalists to act independently, not bid for news and avoid conflicts of interest, NBC News made itself a part of the breaking Goldman story, and not only covered, but also helped to create the news story.
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