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Synopsis

Krajicek, a former crime reporter, takes an unblinking look at his profession and the country's crime dilemma. He concludes that while journalists have increasingly focused on trivial sleaze, celebrity scandals, and gruesome but unrepresentative crimes, they have neglected a far more important crime story: the collapse of the American criminal justice system as a cost-efficient, equitable deterrent. He argues that crime trends and crime policy often have little to do with one another, so it is no wonder that Americans are confused and frightened about crime. Krajicek shows that tabloid distractions drew journalists away from the substantive reporting that could have given a more accurate account of crime during the past decade. Instead, stories about a 'society under siege' led to panic about lawlessness, and politicians -- playing their customary role -- stepped in with the usual 'solutions': more arrests, more prisons, longer sentences. "Scooped!" challenges each journalist -- from publisher to reporter -- to take responsibility for his work, and calls on the media to more closely examine crime policy and hold politicians responsible for legislation that doesn't work. President Johnson observed in 1965 that 'jobs, education, and hope' are the only realistic crime-control strategies. David J. Krajicek's provocative book provides the basis for rational discussion and responsible action.

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