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I didn’t know exactly what would happen when i posted the response to Rolling Stone‘s article about Robert Hawkins. I will say it has been an interesting adventure watching those post comments on the RS site. I know my comments have generated almost 200 hits on my blog post from Aug 9th. Though I was disappointed that only 3 left comments. I approved all of them, didn’t delete anyone.

I still feel as though several missed what my point was. As I stated on the RS site, I do agree that some level of reporting should be done that details the life of the criminal when it is of this magnitude. This is needed for research and for historical documentation. What I do not agree with are some of the distasteful gimmicks that journalists and publications use to glamorize the situation.

Mark Boal reported on a tragedy that consisted of one family member’s point of view. The sad part is that really, Molly didn’t know Robbie as well as what she wants us to believe. She is in it for the money. Having been a freelance photographer, I also wanted to point out that my impression of this story and how it was acquired and published goes as follows…

…Mark Boal proposes an idea for a story, and in some cases would probably prewrite some of it, or even all of it. It is then submitted to the magazine or newspaper for consideration for publishing. If it is accepted, he would then finish writing it, or if it is written, Rolling Stone then sends him a check for the rights to run the story. I don’t believe Molly would have been paid by Rolling Stone. If anything, Mark Boal would have had to pay her, and that is totally up to the two of them to negotiate. In my research of Mark Boal, I found he has had only two other Rolling Stone articles over a few years which does not make him a staff writer, it makes him a freelance journalist. What I discovered is that you don’t have to have common sense or a sense of morality to be a freelance journalist, you just have to know how to mix certain keywords into your writing and your proposal letter to make your story sell. Who cares who you screw along the way as long as the check is in the mail and is signed with your name on the Pay To line. Too bad Rolling Stone didn’t save some of that red ink for the blood spatter to spray across his check…blood money.

I’m also a little disappointed that Mr. Boal has not responded to any of the posts on RS. Write the story, collect the check and disappear from the face of the earth until the next “forgotten” tragedy seems to be healing nicely.

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