Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tune in and tune out

Then only thing to trump District Attorney James Murphy’s shameless self-promotion is the shameless promotion he’s offered by The Saratogian for doing little else other than offering convicted kidnapper John Reagan a plea deal.

This time, it’s the paper’s first-year city editor touting the accolades of Murphy, who is slated to be featured on the nationally syndicated program Dateline NBC. The county’s top prosecutor took an opportunity to meander about the city with a camera crew discussing particulars of the case, which his involvement was limited to offering Reagan a relatively sweet deal.

After the filming, Murphy took a moment to boast of his accomplishments to City Editor Betsy DeMars, who then penned a once-source front-page article about his accolades in the case. The talk-tough Murphy told the paper Dateline’s Sara James “was impressed with the sophistication of the city’s law enforcement” and prosecutor’s office, which lead to Reagan’s conviction.

Mind you, Murphy was armed with very credible eye-witness accounts, a description from the victim herself, a confession from Reagan and pretty much everything needed for a conviction except eight-by-ten color glossy photos with diagrams and arrows detailing the crime. In short, he laid back and took a ride on the wave of media coverage for doing nothing but filing some paperwork.

Way to go, Jimmy. And it’s not even an election year.

Here’s to hoping the producers at Dateline sniff out this charlatan and give credit to the real heroes in the case, Lindsey Ferguson and the coaches who had the gumption to ward off and track Reagan down as he fled.

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