DID THE INSITE MAKE THE WRONG DECISION?

BOY, DID I BEAT MYSELF UP OVER THIS STORY!

It was last Friday when I was assigned to cover the video the entire country has been outraged about. It’s the little 2 year old girl many thought was high on ecstasy. On Friday, I told everyone in the newsroom after looking at the video tape I wasn’t convinced the child had been given drugs. She was smiling and not woozy at all. In fact, I went on to say I have seen children capable of rolling their eyes in the back of their head because of developing muscles, which I have. I really didn’t want to attach my name to a report that claimed a child was on drugs when I truly felt she wasn’t. So after some encouragement by newsroom personell I began looking into the issue. My assignment’s desk called a local child agency that didn’t put much into the video on Friday. They said the only real violation there was the child wasn’t in a restraint. I thought – BINGO – that’s reason enough for me not to do the report. But there are a lot of parents in the newsroom who wanted the story investigated. I totally felt their concern. But my better judgment was the child wasn’t on drugs. So, after talking with a producer I placed a call to a police department but did not get a return call in time. I thought – BINGO – I don’t have to do this story. So, on Monday afternoon a producer yells across the newsroom to me saying Cynthia Cisneros from 13 and Robert Arnold at KPRC are both doing the story. My position was: The child is not high they’re wasting their time. But I started second guessing myself when Cynthia reported at 5 the FBI and Jackson County are both looking into the case. Even the Harris County agency that said the girl in the video wasn’t an issue they would deal with was on tv now saying they were very concerned. Man what a difference a weekend makes. So by 6pm I had to swallow my pride and pull the interview I did with former FBI Special Agent in Charge and FOX Security Analyst Don Clark on Friday. I also pulled up the video and used it in a very short version of the story Monday night. But Tuesday the whole world was covering it. I felt like I wanted to die. But then on Wednesday sources confirmed to me the child wasn’t on drugs and the family couldn’t be charged because there was no evidence of wrongdoing. The only violation was failing to restrain the child and a ticket was issued to the family already back in Jackson County. On Thursday, I was told to go out and find the family. I was able to locate and talk with the girl who shot the video and the uncle of the 2 year old girl we’ve all seen in the video. Should I be regretful on this issue or move on? I totally beat myself up for a week on this matter!

FOX VIDEO REPORT: http://www.myfoxhouston.com/myfox/pages/Home/Detail;jsessionid=B3236C3D0C0A210AA5FA636A1850D63D?contentId=3758803&version=2&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=1.1.1&sflg=1