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September 19, 2012
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Letter to the editor: Portrayal of accused man was unfair

Disgusting, disrespectful, appalled, shocked, loathsome and unfair were just some of the words from people of our community that I know as described to me of the photo of Gennaro DiMatteo printed on the front page of the Sept. 12-13, 2012, edition of the Tribune.

Although this photo's source is labeled Krysten Kellum / Mountain Democrat, as was the accompanying article, the Tribune took full liberty to selectively portray DiMatteo guilty as photographed. Whatever happened to "presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt?" It doesn't take a rocket scientist to read the propaganda symbols of a yet-to-be-tried, allegedly charged person. The orange prison attire, full view of handcuffs, the sheriff and his sleeve badge looming at the neck of DiMatteo, and a somber do-I-seem-guility expression caught perfectly in the image. The Tribune has won the gold for a fine tabloid-style photo. With this photo, should there even be a court trial? Obviously, the Tribune has made up its mind of how to portray images of criminal justice.

As a resident of South Lake Tahoe for 33 years, I don't seem to remember any Tribune photo of anyone who allegedly committed a crime with this type of biased photo before the accused was found guilty. If that is the case, then the Tribune's attitude toward DiMatteo is shameful at best.

Without going any further into the serious question of why you selected this photo, and what influences might have convinced you to print this, it is best to say that any sense of the Tribune's fair news reporting took a back seat on this time.

David Berne

South Lake Tahoe


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Sep 19, 2012 01:06PM Published Sep 19, 2012 01:05PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.