Friday, April 24, 2015

Bob Dunning: You’re getting the truth, as ugly as it is


From page A2 | September 20, 2013 |

FULL DISCLOSURE … more than a handful of folks have complained in various ways about this newspaper’s “graphic” coverage of the evidence presented at the preliminary hearing for the young man accused of two gruesome murders in town five months ago …

First let me say that the reporter of record here, one Lauren Keene, is the best in the business at any level … I am honored to have her as a colleague … she’s fair and honest and concerned only with presenting an accurate picture for our readers … she doesn’t report with a personal “agenda” of some sort …

Some critics say her reporting of what happened in court last Friday “tainted” the jury pool … one mom said she was afraid to let her 10-year-old read the newspaper … well, our court system has well established procedures for selecting unbiased juries … if this young man is innocent of the crimes he is accused of, I have full confidence that a Yolo County jury will acquit him … or maybe that will be left to a jury in another venue … but the fact remains that these murders were committed by someone — perhaps this defendant, perhaps not — and a newspaper reporting the details of what was presented in open court for all to see is well within the rules of fair play and common decency …

As for a 10-year-old potentially being exposed to the chilling details of this crime, common sense tells you that parents have a duty to look out for their children, which means they can review the newspaper or the magazines or the movies or the TV shows or the specific websites before allowing their children to view things that are not appropriate for their age …

It’s critically important for members of this community to know exactly what happened on that horrible night … for, when and if the perpetrator is convicted of this horrific crime, we will be able to judge if the sentence is appropriate, we will be able to oppose or support parole if that day comes, and we will be able to more fully assess how this sort of thing can happen in our seemingly idyllic town … put simply, open disclosure is always a good thing in a healthy society, as painful as some details may be … and if you don’t want those details, there’s a simple solution … don’t read the paper …

PLEASE KEEP US ALL IN THE DARK … from some of the complaints I’ve seen and heard, folks would prefer to have read the following in The Davis Enterprise concerning this disturbing case: “A Davis couple died last night. Police think there might have been foul play and have arrested someone. His name and photograph will never be published in the Davis Enterprise at any point, and details of the deaths will not be revealed out of a desire not to offend the public at large. The Enterprise will not be covering the trial, if there is one.” …

There is no question the details of this case have been disturbing to all of us, and people are rightfully concerned about the effect this might have on our children … so talk to your kids in the best way you can … but don’t blame the messenger … the facts of this case need to be known …

A LIVING WAGE … glad to see UC Davis is willing to pony up $701,779 annually for its new med school dean … she was initially scheduled to make only $501,779, but after the new water and garbage rates hit, her compensation was upped accordingly …

SPEAKING OF UC … at first I thought it was a typo when I read in this very newspaper that outgoing UC president Mark Yudof lived in a home in Lafayette that the university leased for $12,500 a month … heck, you could rent my whole neighborhood for that and still have a few bucks left over to spend at the Dollar Tree …

UNCHARTERED WATERS … yes, the Aggies haven’t started the football season 0-3 since before the Civil War and attendance for last Saturday’s home opener was the smallest ever at Aggie Stadium, but nobody said this Big Sky experience would be a walk in the park … fortunately for the folks who bleed Blue and Gold, the schedule gets a bit softer in the days and weeks ahead and the victories — while not plentiful this year — will eventually come …

This Saturday’s showdown with offensive powerhouse Portland State is a 50-50 affair, but after that Idaho State, Southern Utah, Northern Colorado and sad Sac State present abundant opportunities to pick up a coveted “W” … true enough, Montana and Montana State loom ahead and both represent major obstacles, which means a winning season could well be on the line Saturday night against Portland State …

As for that smallish crowd last Saturday, winning tends to be a cure-all … it also might help if the Aggies didn’t play fully one-third of their regular-season games before school is even in session … classes don’t start until Sept. 26 …

— Reach Bob Dunning at [email protected]





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