Friday, March 06, 2009

Headline Was Misleading

A headline on the KPRC website got my attention, “Judge Arrested On DWI Suspicion” . My first thoughts, and without having read anything except the title, “That judge must think he’s above the law…”, without adding, and yet having a related thought, “…just like most every other elected official”.

The problem with glancing only at the headline was how badly the headline matched up with the facts of the article. I guess if KPRC were out to smear someone’s good name, saying he’d been arrested for DWI would go a long way; but the honest thing to do would have been to say, “Breathalyzer Proved Judge Was Not DWI” or something about how the system in place works to protect everyone equally; but that won’t get anyone to spend time or money, now will it?

“Judge Alan B. Sadler was arrested after a minor accident involving another vehicle in the 2100 block of North Loop 336 West on Wednesday night.”

“Police said the judge was given a Breathalyzer test and he had .0257, which is below the legal limit of .08.”

“No charges were filed and the judge was released.”

“.0257”, you could get a reading like that from brushing your teeth and then gargling with almost any brand name mouthwash for goodness sakes. Think about it, “.0257”, would be the equivalent to maybe two sips of wine or maybe a quarter of a can of beer.

What kind of a non-story would that have made? I’d go so far as to say there are probably normal folks who have interesting body metabolism functions, whose body naturally produce a blood alcohol level of “.0257”.

I don’t know Judge Sadler, never heard of him before this article came out; however, the man had a minor traffic accident, he didn’t violate the public trust. I think KPRC owes Judge Sadler a public apology and perhaps dinner at a nice restaurant to be enjoyed with his wife or “significant other” as the case may be. Throw in a bottle of the house wine and tickets to the symphony, the Rocket’s or Astros game and hope he is gracious enough to let it go at that.

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