Analysis of “Hidden Life” by Frontline
Privacy is defined as the right of an individual to keep his personal life away from the public limelight, as long as it does not affect those concerned. Therefore, public officers have the right to privacy that extends to the fact that they do not dupe the public while undertaking contrasting activities in private (Ch.2).
The news media have an extremely important role in a democratic society. These include the provision of vital information regarding the lives of politicians hence enabling the voters to make an informed decision and choice. It thus respects the right of the public to know the character of their future leaders (Ch. 7).
The allegation that Jim West was making in pursuit of the boys who were underage and online, it is arguable that the editor Steven Smith took a different opinion on a legitimate and illegitimate story in his statement “If he’s [Mayor Jim West] engaged in this activity … we need to know that. If he’s not — there’s no story” since he was taking caution not to engage in a debate over an action that had not been confirmed hence taking care not to be illegally involved in the defamation of a public figure leading to libel (Ch. 6).
Reporter Bill Morlin made justifications on the use of concealed gay.com identity as part of the review of the spokesman and the sting operation of the FBI by providing accurate and reliable information to prove the already going round by not baiting, but looking for the truth (Ch. 3). This was done through his act of hiring a consultant to act like a 17-year-old and pose as a gay on one of the gay online sites. He was then to seek Mayor West and determine his opinion (Ch. 2).
Morlin did not create the assumed identity to reengage Mayor Jim West online because he wanted it to act as independent evidence of the controversial private activities of Mayor Jim West. If he did it himself, it was easy for West to recognize him thus interfering with the research and findings (Ch. 5).
It is only appropriate for professional and licensed investigators to conduct the sting operation only when there are substantial proofs leading to the allegations being made regarding an individual (Ch. 4).
Frontline. The spokesman review: A hidden life documentary. 2014. Web 14 April http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/hiddenlife/view/#more