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Letters to the Editor

Jan. 28, 1997

Student disagrees with ABC editorial

I was extremely disappointed in the editorial in Friday's edition of The Lariat.

As a Food Lion employee of almost three years, I have been following the suit against ABC for quite some time. The editorial claimed that the court's decision to award Food Lion 5.5 million dollars, compared to the requested 200+ million, was a blow against the right of the press to investigate businesses to protect American consumers.

The real issue is not that ABC's PrimeTime Live undercover reporters were hired under false pretenses, but that they reported the information irresponsibly. By singling out Food Lion, one of the nation's largest supermarket chains, PrimeTime Live inferred that the problem existed in all Food Lion stores. Their report came at a critical time of expansion in Texas.

PrimeTime Live neglected to inform viewers there had been no evidence or reports of wrongdoing in any other stores. This crippled the operations branch in Texas, shutting down half of the new stores, and costing many jobs.

The Lariat only encouraged this ignorant mentality with statements such as, 'didn't they uncover a problem that affected the health of viewers everywhere?' Do two stores on the east coast really affect the health of viewers everywhere? Other mistakes such as stating that Food Lion President Tom Smith declined an interview, only further demonstrate the poor and sloppy manner in which the report was handled.

Journalists, broadcasters and reporters must realize the public is skeptical of the media's reporting because of reporters who are careless with their powerful influence over the American market.

Michael Olmstead

Business Major '00

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