I was really quite upset when I looked at an interview in the Situation Room on CNN between Martin Savidge and Wolf Blitzer and saw the openly angry gestures and tone of voice of Martin Savidge as he concluded his exclusive report on talking with Anthony McCray who was just pardoned by immediate past Mississippi governor Haley Barbour for the 2001 murder of McCray’s wife.
Reporters and journalists covering news stories are expected to do so in an altruistic a manner as possible; that is, they should not be reporting their own opinions, feelings or ideas.
Just the facts, thank you.
This post is not looking at the multiple number of convicted criminals who were pardoned by Governor Barbour—over 200—but at Martin’s inadequate response as a journalist of the “world leader in news”.
If it was anything, I thought Mr Savidge would have been quite pleased with himself for discovering the whereabouts of one of four pardoned and released murderers who were being desperately sought after by the Mississippi judicial authorities. I mean, he had a great exclusive news story, fully cementing once again the efficiency of CNN as a news leader.
Martin Savidge told Wolf that the information McCray gave to him was totally different from what Anthony McCray had told the judge in the courtroom.
In effect, Martin was calling the newly pardoned convict a liar. I do not have an issue with Martin making that statement as much as I take offense in the manner in which he communicated his own individual conclusion. Anyone who was watching that particular interview could have clearly seen and heard the tone of anger and possible resentment in Martin Savidge as he ended his live interview.
Honestly, it was the first time I was seeing and hearing a reporter in recent times coming across as someone with a personal vendetta or something to prove. I have to wonder if it is that Martin Savidge is related to Anthony McCray’s deceased wife, or maybe to another of the many convicts pardoned by the governor.
Then I thought of something else. Anthony McCray is a black man whereas Martin is white. Hmmm. But certainly a top rated reporter for a global news entity must be functioning at a higher level than small-minded, malicious prejudice, right?
Anyway, moments ago I listened to an official comment by the former Mississippi governor, Haley Barbour, as he explained his rationale for the multiple pardons.
First of all, the fact that Governor Barbour was leaving his position means that the pardoning of the two hundred or so criminals was an act of desinence. People who are at the end of any major era or phase in their lives always want to clear their conscience and do their best. I believe the former governor had to be fully persuaded in his own mind that each of these persons was deserving of a second chance.
In his statement, Haley Barbour said he fully stands with his decision with which he is “comfortable” and satisfied. He can sleep soundly at nights. Many of the persons pardoned had already finished their sentences, were ill or were shown to have been sufficiently rehabilitated to the point where the former governor was able to entrust his own grandchildren to their care.
As Anthony McCray said in Martin Savidge’s report on CNN, everybody deserves a second chance at life. He was not hiding, as he was in the same neighbourhood where his deceased wife’s family lives.
- Barbour ‘At Peace’ with Pardons, but Scandal Rages On (swampland.time.com)