Double Standards [Op-Ed]

Whatever caused this tragedy is now in the public domain

All the various media have clearly participated in some sort of cover-up.

By Michael Bradley

Ken Nagy.

Jason Lantych.
As someone who once served as a police officer and who later worked for many years as a newspaperman, the ongoing news coverage of Beverly police officer Jason Lantych’s shooting by Sgt. Ken Nagy of the Hamilton Police Department is galling.It seems obvious that if Jason Lantych was a general contractor and Ken Nagy was a framing contractor we would already know why Lantych was shot by Nagy. The media, print and electronic, would have been all over the story, probing the business and personal lives of the two men.

We would likely already know more than we cared to know about the two men, including how they did business, who they associated with and why, and perhaps most importantly, we would know if money and a bad business deal were involved or whether it was a love triangle that caused the shooting.

But in this actual case involving police, not contractors, several days after the unfortunate episode all we know is that the two officers from adjacent towns agreed to meet at a diner, but apparently without discussion Lantych was shot several times by Nagy.

We now know that some of the restaurant patrons were heroic in helping to save Lantych from bleeding out, since apparently one of the shots hit an artery in his leg, almost as though the shooter was aiming for the groin. And later that night, in the midst of a police manhunt for one of their own, Sgt. Nagy returned to the proverbial scene of the crime and, unfortunately, killed himself.

That this immediately appears, on the face of it, to be a classic human tragedy involving hopes, dreams and very possibly, love, has been completely ignored by a media that would have torn the covers off of the lives of any average person. The news approach in this case is a farce, which is underscored by the fact that in its most recent reports the TV media is using hints instead of facts, observing that Mrs. Nagy works in the Hamilton Police Department.

There cannot be two sets of media rules for the average citizen and the law enforcement community.The apparent double-standard regarding police suspects and the rest of us was remarkably illustrated by the office of Essex County DA Jonathan Blodgett, whose spokeswoman flatly stated that motive in this case “is not relevant.” After some ridicule, DA Blodgett backed away from that remark.

Whatever caused this tragedy is now in the public domain and all the various media have clearly participated in some sort of cover-up.

It is understandable and human for the police departments and the families involved to desire the story be contained, but there cannot be two sets of media rules for the average citizen and the law enforcement community. It is simply incredible to believe that with all the resources of the Massachusetts media all that is known is the bare facts of the shooting and the status of the wounded officer, Jason Lantych.

It is incredible because everyone realizes that if the tragedy involved them or their family members, the reporting would be diametrically different.

CapeCodToday.com welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on CapeCodToday.com.