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Juvenile Mass Murder and Victims’ Families: Can There Ever Be a Balance in TV Journalism?  

 

Journalist Maureen Maher recently presented a particular view concerning the family of Nancy Bishop and Richard Langert. Her “Notebook” likens the heinous killing of two adults and a baby to be to her own family tragedy- the loss of her brother-in-law in a car crash, compiled with another sibling killed in a car crash. Tragic, yes, but not a comparable loss.  The family relationships, trying to mend and differing kinds of healing is the commonality here.

Bishop family

(Photo courtesy CBS News)

However, the politics of the matter is that the Supreme Court decision in Illinois potentially offering   violent, plotting juvenile killers a second-chance at re-sentencing drove this show on the back’s of crime victims ‘families. Granted, it is a fascinating case, but, in my view, the killer and the overly forgiving sister is not fodder for entertainment.   To make the murderer and the enthralled forgiving  family member, nearly the entire focus  is not balanced reporting!  Making the case for the danger of juvenile killers was omitted completely.

Maureen’s Notebook Commentary

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/notebook-finding-a-way-to-go-on/;

The 48 Hours : Road to Redemption- 11-28-2015

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/road-to-redemption/

Making a Case for “The Other Side” with Jennifer Bishop Jenkins – JLWOP

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=932F_pbZ-G4

My Immediate Reaction after the 48 Hours Episode was:

THIS IS JUST MY OPINION- After watching the 48 Hours account of the incredible family tragedy suffered by the Bishop family, I know a few things –

  • The pain on their faces said it all;
  • That there is no such thing as a balanced account when it comes to reporting such cases
  • Although I respect the fact that Jeanne has the right to “change her mind,” I think it is a misplaced loyalty that she feels she would not be a “good Christian” without “engaging with the killer.” Very sad…
  • I thought that Jennifer and her mother were tremendously brave and thoughtful in their comments …and very classy!
  • The Supreme Court decision should never have ruled as such. This disturbed man cannot “change his stripes” and has manipulated one smart attorney-Jeanne, who appeared  almost giddy as a school girl describing their communication and her future commitment to him;
  • As a homicide survivor, I stand proudly not “taking sides” but standing beside Jennifer and her mother, for it is the only path to justice;
  • When all is said and done… I admire their continued love for all family members, no matter what their beliefs!

Thank you Jennifer for all that you do! I am so blessed to know you!

Love, Ladyjustice

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