Pubdate: Wed, 13 Jan 1999
Date: 01/13/1999
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Author: Allan V. Giannini

Editor - Where is the compassion for the family of Oscar Scaggs? The
January 8 edition of The Chronicle ran an article about the current
heroin problem entitled, ``Young, Rich and Strung Out,'' and the
opening words were ``Oscar Scaggs.'' This copy probably fits right
into the sensational journalism rules of catching the attention of the
reader. But does The Chronicle have to do that -- and add to the
unbelievable suffering of this family.

Why do Oscar's father and mother have to see their son's name as the
lead into a front-page column about drug abuse and death, a scant one
week after he died this death? Why add to a suffering that we all know
has to be the hardest thing in the world for any parent? Journalists
have a responsibility for truth and integrity, but they must also
reflect the necessary compassion and respect which should define our