For those at News Channel 5 involved in television news coverage of the John Hinckley story last week, I have a little something I'd like to run by you. Yes, there was a "Nashville connection"; therefore, I can understand your - News Channel 5's - interest:
Hinckley did stalk then-president Jimmy Carter to Nashville, was arrested at the Nashville Airport for weapons posssession, was released on a $62.50 bond, and went on to attempt to assassinate President Ronald Reagan, ultimately succeeding at wounding Reagan and others - all in an attempt to gain the affection of actress Jodie Foster, with whom he'd become psychotically infatuated after repetitively watching the movie Taxi Driver (starring Robert Deniro and Jodie Foster).
Great, attention-getting news material, this Hinckley-Carter-Reagan-Foster-Deniro story! However, the "architect" who drew the journalistic "blueprint" for your News Channel 5 story was Murfreesboro Post columnist Dan Whittle with his Jan. 1 2012 column in that ran in the Murfreesboro Post. Sadly, you folks at News Channel 5 failed to offer attribution to either Mr. Whittle or the Murfreesboro Post. Let's face facts, without Whittle's story about Hinckley in the Jan. 1, 2012 Murfreesboro Post, News Channel 5 would've had "squat" - ZERO - in terms of running that news report on Hinckley.
What damage could it have done for somone at News Channel 5 to have given attribution to Mr. Whittle and the Post? I'll let you in on a little secret: It certainly could've prevented some "damage," and, reciprocally, could have instilled some good will and trust.
For those in charge at News Channel 5, is it that you approve of this borderline-plagiaristic behavior, or is it that you, simply, do not know any better? Either case, it causes one to pause and ponder, underscored by suspicion.
I feel I'm in a position to strongly opine on this unfortunate matter because I was in the radio studio (the "Truman Show," out of Murfreesboro, TN) with Dan Whittle, Jan. 2, 2012, for the whole hour he talked about the historically significant case of John Hinckley.
Dan Whittle went to great lengths to procure the official documentation to bring to the public this "Hinckley" story . . . albeit, with a great degree of credibility! For someone from another news outlet to publicly talk about this story, without giving proper attribition, is - in my perspective - cheap, tacky, and unprofessional.
News Channel 5 owes the Murfreesboro Post and Mr. Whittle an apology - a PUBLIC apology on air.