Public Editor

Is covering teens’ Vine pranks responsible?

Overland Park teenagers Sam Golbach and Colby Brock are famous online as “Sam and Colby.” They make videos of themselves pulling pranks such as following an overweight man while taunting him with a saxophone, or bathing in public fountains.

Their adolescent obnoxiousness is paying off for the viral stars — but did The Star display good judgment in giving them a mainstream platform? One emailer thought not:

I am very disturbed by the article in today’s paper on C1, “Creating A Scene” which glorifies these two youths viral videos, including their “bad behavior,” like following an obese man around, harassing him and posting the video of his reactions online. How sad.

The fact that they are now making videos with a “positive message” does not excuse such despicable behavior -- and the fact Star prints image captures from videos of their bad behavior AND FURNISH LINKS TO THEM is deplorable.

This is not news! Just because they have millions of viewers, does not justify covering them in the paper. And is it entertainment? The obese man they filmed surely doesn’t think so. (I hope he takes legal action against them — I would!)

Is this responsible journalism? It sends a very mixed message to other youths that it’s okay to behave badly and poke fun of other people’s disadvantages to get notoriety if after the fact you claim to “change your ways” after you have a name for yourself. (And the fact they have no remorse for their “bad behavior” is even more disturbing). … The Star should not be a vehicle for essentially glorifying this kind of behavior.

This is NOT responsible journalism. Very sad.

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