By Ray Stern Just about every news outlet in town has covered the pathetic case of Arizona Republic reporter Eugene Scott, who's accused of leaving his 1-year-old Puggle in his hot SUV at the Chandler Fashion Center.
Except for the Arizona Republic. A search for the story on the Republic's Web site turns up nothing. Scott was arrested and released by Chandler police last Friday. Here's the police report, if you're interested, as posted by KYFI.
At this point, the Republic's lack of an article on Scott is like a red alert for poor news judgment. What could the editorial decision to hold back on this story be called, if it isn't shameful, gutless self-censoring motivated by embarrassment?
Even though Scott's dog lived, the story is clearly newsworthy and chock-full of ironies:
* The arrest occurred in Chandler, by the same police department who employs Thomas Lovejoy, the infamous officer who last year left his K9 partner to die in a hot car. * Scott was arrested the same day Lovejoy was acquitted of an animal cruelty charge. * Scott was the reporter who broke the story about Lovejoy's tragic mistake for the Arizona Republic.
If the Republic does ever write something about Scott, perhaps it could quote the same expert Scott used when he wrote his August 14, 2007 story about Lovejoy:
Russ Hess, executive director of the United States Police Canine Association, said an investigation needed to be completed, but he had harsh words for the officer. "There's no excuse," Hess said. "There sure is a lack of judgment there."
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According to the police report, Scott admitted he ran into the mall for some food just after taking the pug-beagle mix, "Brother," to a veterinarian for a check-up. It was just after 3 p.m. He left the windows of his Ford Explorer open a tad, but didn't leave any water for the dog.
When told by an officer the temperature exceeded 100 degrees, "Mr. Scott stated he did not realize that," the report says.
Maybe he figured winter had come since he wrote this article on excessive heat just two months ago.