Video: Chicago TV Station Edits 4-Year-Old’s Comments and Criminalizes Him

*A Chicago television station is being blasted by civil rights leaders and news media professionals for airing edited video of a 4-year-old boy that took his statements out of context, violating the basics of journalism ethics.

The Maynard Institute published a story on July 21 detailing how Chicago CBS station WBBM ran a story about the June 29 shooting of two teenagers in the Park Manor neighborhood.

A freelance photographer interviewed the youngster about whether the shooting frightened him. The station aired the portion of the interview in which the boy responded by saying he was not afraid and wanted his own gun.

However, it failed to air the portion of the child’s quote in which he said he wanted a gun because he planned to be a police officer.

This was wrong so many ways, it’s hard to know where to start,” said Hagit Limor, investigative reporter at WCPO-TV in Cincinnati and the President of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).

The following is a transcript of what the station aired June 30th.

Boy: “I’m not scared of nothing.” 

Reporter: “When you get older are you going to stay away from all these guns?”

Boy: “No.”

Reporter: “No? What are you going to do when you get older?”

Boy: “I’m going to have me a gun!”

Anchor Steve Bartelstein ended the story saying, “that was scary indeed.” Co-anchor Susan Carlson exclaimed, “hearing that little boy there, wow!”

After the story ran July 21, the Maynard Institute received another video that contained the rest of the boy’s interview. The sender said he was blurring the video and reduced its quality to try and protect the youth. Here is that transcript.

Read MORE at the Maynard Institute.

3 thoughts on “Video: Chicago TV Station Edits 4-Year-Old’s Comments and Criminalizes Him”

  1. Evil journalism. Why characterize this child like that? To make what point? In the wrong hands our children don’t stand a chance. This is an instance where we adults should speak out and be heard about how our young people will be respected.

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