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(Weigh In) ABC News: Puerto Rican Legislator 'Gropes' Grad Journalist


"[C]onduct that could be best described as unbecoming."

ABC News thinks that state legislators don't receive enough scrutiny. So recently, it hired five graduate school journalists to conduct an investigation of  the "ethics and behavior of state legislators." ABC's verdict: "conduct that could be best described as unbecoming."

The news organization's prime piece of evidence is video showing Puerto Rican legislator Jorge Navarro Suarez making unwanted advances toward one of ABC's female grad journalist:

ABC does provide a body evidence to prove its point that state legislator corruption is a problem. But this incident is interesting considering that the network uses it as its "gotcha" climax, and the video and story aren't bullet proof.

Consider that ABC in its report describes Suarez as "groping and kissing" the girl while the video appears to only show kissing. To be fair, the student could have been groped out of view. But why make the statement without not explanation?

Also interesting is ABC's insistence on portraying the girl as a "female student journalist" instead of an adult employee on assignment. The former partly poisons the well, implying a more agregious act by the legislator. But if ABC describes her as an adult -- who's most likely over 21 -- at a dance party, Suarez's actions may not be so strange.

In a statement to ABC, Rep. Suarez denied any misconduct, and said he got close to the student to understand her, since the music was loud and he doesn't speak English well.

Still, he does seem to make a couple more half-hearted attempts to entice the girl after she seems initially to tell him no.

What do you think? Were Suarez's actions inappropriate and unbecoming of a legislator? Did he go too far? Or, was he simply conforming to common bar practices of trying to attract an attractive woman, only to back off eventually once he was unsuccessful?

Issue or non-issue?

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