By Ted Slowik
OK, maybe the Pure Prairie League reference is too obscure, but it's appropriate. In a stunner, Amy Jacobson lost her job Tuesday as a TV reporter in Chicago because she was caught on tape, wearing a bathing suit, at the home of Craig Stebic.
Craig's wife, Lisa, has been missing for more than two months, and Amy was assigned to cover the story. She was probably trying to get the inside track on the story and hoping to obtain exclusive details from Craig.
Unfortunately, she made a bad error in judgment when, on Friday, she accepted an invitation from Craig's sister to drop by the house to talk. Amy had her two kids with her, and was in her swimwear because she reportedly was on her way to take her kids swimming.
Her mistakes include crossing the line as a journalist by creating the appearance that she was getting too chummy with a source, and blurring the lines of personal and professional by placing her own children in that situation.
What's truly amazing about this story is that a relative sideshow to a tragic story of a missing mother of two has become the talk of the town, the nation even. An Associated Press account of Amy's departure from WMAQ-Ch. 5 appears on the Web sites of dozens of media outlets, including USA Today and the Washington Post.
How do you explain the interest in this story? And what do you think of Amy's actions--is it right that she should lose her job because of what she did?