Sunday, 13 December 2009

Who is dangerous?

All is not fair and balanced in the Toronto Sun newsroom this holiday season.

Thursday: The names, ages and hometowns of 10 men arrested in a week-long Brampton "johns" sweep are published.

Friday: The names of 10 women arrested and charged with being inmates of a common bawdy house in Toronto are not published.

Saturday: A drunk driving suspect arrested after an accident in Clarington had his three-year-old son and an open case of beer in the car. His name was not published.

Poll time:

Who scares the hell out of you more and should be identified in the media:

The "johns", the bawdy house inmates or an alleged drunk driver witnesses say swerved into oncoming traffic before his car crashed into a ditch?

We'd want to know the name of the alleged drunk to stay out of his way and to follow up on the welfare of his family.

As for the editors who got on their high horses and published the names of the "johns" on Thursday, Merry Christmas.

BTW: Have you been reading your sex-related classified ads?


  1. The drunk driver's name may not have been published to protect the identity of the three-year-old. Just a guess.

  2. You can't publish the name of the drunk driving suspect because it would identify his three-year-old son, who is likely now in the care of the CAS.

  3. Our point was who is more dangerous, a "john", a found-in or a driver threatening the safety of other people on the road?

    But check the Sun library for the number of times the names of impaired driving suspects have been published following accidents with children in their vehicles.

    So let's be consistent.

    A three-year-old and an open case of beer in the car, as alleged in the Sun story on Saturday? That calls for a photo and a name.

    The public has a right to know the identity of someone who is accused of endangering the lives of others, including his own son.

    Withholding the name raises the possibility he is policeman, a politician or someone else who is well known in the small community where he was arrested and has nothing to do with his son being in the car.

  4. Well, after reading all of the above, I finally got off my duff and read the story. It says this very clearly at the end:

    "[The accused] was not identified so as to protect the identity of his son."

    The paper explained the reason for the anonymity, so readers would not have been in any doubt about it. I think most people would say the paper made the right call.

  5. So why name the "Johns"? Wouldn't that tend to identify their children? How is that fair? It's not a newspapers job to say being "accused" of a one crime is any worse than another.

    Either the impaired driving suspect should e named - or neither should be named.

    In this case, clearly the wrong call.