“Ogletree asked the panel to imagine a war between the hypothetical countries of North and South Kosan. The United States was backing South Kosan, and indeed American troops were deployed in the field alongside South Kosanese forces. The North Kosanese offered to allow Jennings and a crew to film them behind their lines. Would Jennings go? Of course, he answered.
Then Ogletree introduced the ethical dilemma: While filming the North Kosanese, you see they are setting up an ambush for an approaching column of American and South Kosanese soldiers. What do you do? Would you stand by and film as the North Kosanese opened fire on the Americans?
Jennings pondered the question. "Well, I guess I wouldn't," he said finally. "I am going to tell you now what I am feeling, rather than the hypothesis I drew for myself. If I were with a North Kosanese unit that came upon Americans, I think that I personally would do what I could to warn the Americans." He went on to say he would warn the Americans even if it meant losing the story, even if it meant losing his life.
But this admirable display of patriotic duty was short-lived, for he was then upbraided by Mike Wallace.
"I think some other reporters would have a different reaction," Wallace said. "They would regard it simply as a story they were there to cover." Wallace was "astonished" at Jennings's answer, and he began to lecture him as he would an errant schoolchild.
"You're a reporter," Wallace scolded. "I'm a little bit at a loss to understand why, because you're an American, you would not have covered that story."
Didn't Jennings have a higher duty, Ogletree asked Wallace, than to roll film as American soldiers were being shot? "No," Wallace said. "You don't have a higher duty. No. No. You're a reporter!"
Properly chastened, Jennings backed down. "I chickened out," he said. He had lost sight of his journalistic duty to remain detached from the story.”
I actually saw the above episode.
If in exchange and by virtue of granted access, an American reporter was made privy
to an imminent planned terrorist attack on Americans, would/should his duty as a reporter obligate his silence at least until after that attack, (I seem to remember an old movie that had a very similar situation about the bombing of a night club)?