KMIZ ABC17 Doesn't Accept Responsibility For Linking 'Animal Crossing' To Pedophilia


Posted March 18, 2009 - By r_pad

Yesterday, I wrote about KMIZ ABC17 reporting on the Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force linking Nintendo's Animal Crossing: City Folk and pedophilia. ABC17's story was an unfortunate bit of reporting that preyed on parents' fears and unfairly cast Animal Crossing fans in a negative light. Curtis Varns, the station's news director, had this to say on the story:

"I think Detective Anderson’s comments did take the story down an unintended path. We decided to do the story to let viewers know children had been contacted inappropriately through the game. It was not intended to be an indictment of the game or a smear piece on any form of interactive entertainment. The point of the story was to make parents aware so they could decide whether or not they needed to keep a watchful eye on their kids’ activities."

His excuse is completely lame. I don't understand how a news director can let a quote dictate the path a story follows. It's up to him to ensure that his station's news is presented fairly and accurately. He's the one that determines what path a story goes down. Blaming an interview subject is not an acceptable excuse. Ultimately, Varns is responsible for what stories appear on the station's show and web site. It's sad that he's shirking that responsibility.

Furthermore, the story was completely unfair to Nintendo and its game. Predators can find their prey through any number of tools. Shouldn't the station report on every possible form of communication pedophiles use? ABC17's story made it seem like there was something wrong with the game and only adults with nefarious intent could possibly own it. As millions of adult Animal Crossing players, including several readers of TheFeed have shown that it's an enjoyable game for players of all ages.

If you haven't already, I encourage you to contact the article's author to let her know how you feel about the matter.


Tags: Videogames, Wii
KMIZ ABC17 Doesn't Accept Responsibility For Linking 'Animal Crossing' To Pedophilia


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