I knew the moment we started airing the DUI arrest of Cardinal Manager Tony La Russa ... there would be flak.
In March, I wrote a blog on his arrest in response to many who thought we were "attacking" Tony, not being fair, that we were purposely trying to destroy him. At that time, I stated it was a legitimate news story, and we could not possibly treat him differently than we would others.
Now, the tape is released to TV news stations, and we chose to air it.
Immediately, I got complaints from viewers who again believed we had an agenda to injure Tony La Russa. The answer is: no. Once again, this is news, but some insist that we already know he plead guilty and ask, why show this video other to sensationalize the crime?
First of all, keep in mind, initially, La Russa pleaded not guilty; this tape immediately destroys that plea.
Also, this is not the first time we have aired video and audio of a DUI case, watching someone stumble physically and verbally. Some cases have been celebrities and some have been quote "normal" citizens. So, how many of those who called and complained about La Russa called to complain about those other cases? Zero.
How many who called about La Russa would be locked to the television and watching the video replay over and over or going to our website and seeing it numerous times if the DUI had involved Barry Bonds, a high ranking politician, a police chief and so forth?
If we had those videos and did not play them then you have a right to call and complain. In fact, I would be leading the complaints.
Now, on a personal note about the La Russa video:
I know he committed a crime and being drunk behind the wheel is dangerous. Still, I could not help but feel sorry for him embarrassed for him.
Why did it affect me? It is because he is someone that I know someone who has high standing in the community and someone who made a mistake.
Like those who complained about us showing the video, it was not easy to watch, even though airing it was the right thing to do.