UPI reports that “an NBC producer has been disciplined for becoming overly involved in the case of a convicted killer serving a life sentence in Arkansas.”:
Shane Bishop, who works for Dateline NBC, wrote Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, urging them to guarantee that Michael Ronning would be spared the death penalty if he confessed to killings in their states, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Ronning is suspected of homicides in Florida, Texas and Michigan.
Bishop told the governors he believed he could get Ronning to confess if he was assured he would be spared execution.
NBC told the newspaper that Bishop acted on his own in violation of network policy and that appropriate disciplinary action had been taken.
Bob Steele of the Poynter Institute said that Bishop stepped over the line by trying to make a deal with public officials.
“Journalists should never become players in a story,” Steele said.
Tell that to: