Edina, Minnesota is a Twin Cities suburb that was recently the scene of an attempted child abduction. In two seperate incidents last week, a 21-year old man attempted to lure two young girls into his car under the guise of needing directions to a local school. Thankfully the girls were too smart to take the ride. Alert witnesses gave the police the young man's license plate. He is now in custody.
Needless to say, the community was shaken by the incident, and parents and teachers took the opportunity to remind kids about the dangers of talking with strangers.
Yesterday, in an effort to keep the story alive, the local Fox News affiliate, KMSP Channel 9, decided it might be a good idea to gauge how approachable Edina's children really are so they called the Edina Police and told them that a 2004 silver Ford Explorer carrying Fox News Investigative Reporter Trish Van Pilsum would be riding around town approaching young children and asking them for directions. The Police did not condone the activity but didn't think they could stop Fox News either. They did, however, alert the school district which sent out an e-mail to parents.
Well, Fox 9 must have gotten an earful from the parents. One enraged gentleman apparently threatened an injunction against the station. Fox 9 issued a statement late last night claiming the story was only in development, that they planned to approach parents first and ask permission to speak on the sly to their kids, and that in any event, they had decided to kill the story.
Sorry, but their explanation doesn't fly with me. If the story was just in development, why provide the Edina police with the make and model of Ms. Van Pilsum's SUV? Once they spotted a lone child walking home, how were they going to get in touch with the parents prior to making their approach? And really, what self-respecting parent would agree to let a perfect stranger approach their child and scare the crap out of them? Certainly not this one.
Fox News 9 should be ashamed of themselves for considering using children in this manner. This is yet another example of bulls--t journalism from the network that is 'fair and balanced.'