Rev. Austin Miles, a chaplain in Northern California is a writer and historian. He is the author of Santa's Surprising Origins, a story that received worldwide circulation and resulted in him being cast in the 2004 Hallmark Christmas Movie titled, Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus. He played the mall Santa who magically received the gift of sign language.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Society • Newspapers That Caused Pastor’s Death MUST Be Legally Charged

Aside from what qualifies as mandatory criminal prosecution, a Wrongful Death Suit is also a proper legal remedy against any individual (s) who directly contributes to a death. These laws are in place for good reason.

There is absolutely no question that the suicide of Pastor Jarry Hanoum on May 4th was directly caused by The Brentwood Press that started the frenzy over his alleged questionable financial dealings and The Contra Costa Times and their reporters based in Walnut Creek, California, who picked it up and pumped it up. 

The charges against the pastor were newsworthy and should have been published in one story with facts, not attacks. But newspapers today are out for blood.

San Jose Christian Perspectives Examiner, David McCaine reported on the Hanoum Suicide in his excellent article: “Were Newspapers Such as the Contra Costa Times Guilty of Bullying?”  His story included this quotable statement: “The media’s job is to be a watchdog for public welfare, not send in a group of snarling pit bulls to torrment somebody that is already down.”  Right on!  Thank you Mr. McCaine.

While studying journalism at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, California, a young man who enrolled received his first assignment, writing a piece for the college paper, The Experience. In his first (totally amateurish) drivel, he stated how he looked forward to being a journalist where he would be able to bring down the head of a big corporation….. I would read. no further.  I did an op-ed slamming his perverted ambition as the wrong reason to be a journalist, knowing personally what it is like to have vicious reporters determined to…yes…kill you.

In the mid 90’s I was victimized by an ambitious District Attorney who falsified a case against me in order to gain endorsement from Law Enforcement which he did not have. The Contra Costa Times and their sister paper, The Antioch Ledger-Dispatch, assisted the D.A. in his bogus case against me that could have put me in prison. Didn’t matter, just so he won the election.  They hammered me in headline after headline. I was charged with publishing the home address of a sheriff.

NOT ONCE did they say “alleged” ‘charges’ against me. They declared me guilty and published outright lies that could have been proven just that, except that Judge Lowell Richards forbade me to speak or challenge any ‘witnesses’ or ‘evidence’ used against me with the threatened penalty of ‘‘Contempt of Court” if I tried to do so.

The same Contra CostaTimes that caused Pastor Jerry’s death launched consistent attack stories on me which resulted in some death threats and hostility from the community. They put my life in danger. A life totally innocent of the charges they concocted to help a ruthless power-mad D.A. win re-election.. So I know beyond question how rotten newspapers and politicans can be. There will be more on this. Stay tuned.

While Pastor Jerry ‘s death is listed as a suicide, it was actually murder. There is no question that the newspapers were determined to destroy the pastor and his church. They continued the pounding, front page after front page until Pastor Jerry reached his breaking point.

The continual front page bashing of the pastor with the sensationlized stories, became more and more elaborate with greatly enhanced ‘facts’ ...in order to…as referred to in literary circiles.. “enhance the story line.”  This they did, week after week without let-up.

This writer personally witnessed the crumbling of Pastor Jerry,who was distressed over the newspaper stories that instigated public hatred for him. Making it worse, he was a man who loved people. These war-mongering newspapers ended the life of Pastor Jerry. They also ended the possibility of the money he owed ever being paid back. So the newspaprs accomplished a double victory. He should have been able to face the charges against him and given the opportunity to make it up to people who were harmed by him.

The area newspapers and reporters are totally responsible for the death of Pastor Jerry Hanoum. They have caused untold damage and the law requires that they be criminally charged, as others have been in similar cases.

It is easy to think of the young journalism student whose ambiition was to become a powerful reporter who could bring down people.  Not only bring down people but to drive them to their death. Wow! Now THAT woiuld be real power. This is the mentality in the newsrooms today.

Criminal Action must be taken against the newspapers and reporters who did this. Pastor Jerry’s family has every right to sue them all. And they can use that awarded money to pay off Pastor Jerry’s debts. This will make it a little easier for all of us who are deeply sorrowful for a death that should never have happened.  And thereby is the purpose of the law. To protect citizens and to warn others to act responsibly. The Brentwood Press and Contra Costa Times did not use the restraint that professionalism requires.  Let us DEMAND that charges be filed. Perhaps that would shake up the newspaper industry to re-thnk their occupations and draw up some ethical rules. That would be an example of good being brought out of something horrible. Romans 8:28.

(Writer’s Note: This story shows precisely why Internet News Services, such as the one you are now reading, have become so big. People want to hear the truth of world happenings, not fabricated-slanted news that pushes personal and political agendas.They seek to kill good people, morals and fidelity while praising,  furthering and protecting the bad guys They are losing their readers and advertisers with good reason.)

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