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Grant Clemency And Get Good Coverage: A Journalist's Deal Gone Very Bad

We're not in the habit of going out looking for things at networks other than CBS to pick at, but TVNewser tips us off this morning to an interesting – and somewhat shocking – incident involving a producer at NBC's "Dateline." According to this AP story, "Dateline" producer Shane Bishop offered a deal of sorts to Texas Governor Rick Perry and Florida Governor Jeb Bush:
"Waive the death penalty for a murder suspect, and he'll help solve three murder cases in their states."
In the letter, uncovered by the Austin American Statesman through the open records law in Texas, Bishop says suspected killer Michael Ronning "has admitted to me that he has committed a total of seven murders" and promises help in solving at least some of the cases if the governors "guarantee not to pursue the death penalty." More Bishop, from the letter:
"Why am I writing you to beg you take up this effort? Because it's the right thing to do. … But I am certain Dateline NBC would give substantial coverage to the solving of these three cold case murders tied to a serial killer, and the essential roles played by the Governors of Texas and Florida."
NBC spokesperson Jenny Tartikoff is quoted in the story as saying Bishop wrote the letter on his own, not on behalf of "Dateline." Still, the hint of "substantial coverage" of the cases, and especially the emphasis on the "special roles played" by the governors in solving these murders shows just how far journalists are sometimes tempted to go to get a story. To me, Bishop clearly went way too far in this case, what do you think?