To the editor:

The irresponsibility of the press is once more demonstrated by your headline feature Jan. 25 concerning a gag order over an investigation of a crime.You seem to be hiding behind the First Amendment as a pretense so you can pursue your monetary objectives or have the recognition among your peers of getting the "scoop."

Do you care if justice is accomplished or those who committed the crime are taken off the streets? Are you acting in the interest of the public? The fact of the matter is, a gag order does not say the information is permanently withheld; you only have to wait to inform the public.

Let's not confuse as freedom your acting on selfish personal interests, which your lead story demonstrated vs. each person's responsibility to act prudently to make the Constitution viable. Your action only tears down the intent of our foundation document.

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To be gagged and then continue to "suggest" a possible area of investigation is a flagrant usurping of judicial authority releasing yourselves from the gag order. (Once again the omniscient news media are setting themselves up as judge and jury, raising their banner in the name of the people.)

Journalists, it appears, are slow learners, self-centered and unaware of their degrading impact on our society. How many times have we seen justice compromised because of irresponsible or untimely news reporting? Quit hiding behind the First Amendment for your own personal agendas.

Orson B. Porter

Salt Lake City

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