Dustin Pedroia’s Family Shame: News or Tabloid Garbage?

Don SpielesCorrespondent IJanuary 27, 2009

By now, most readers have probably gotten wind of the story that has broken regarding Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia’s older brother.  Brett Pedroia has been arrested on various counts of child molestation involving an eight year old boy.  

When the details were posted on the Boston Herald website by Michael Silverman and Richard Weir, the comments came in a rush.The folks commenting at the BH site don’t all agree.

“This is a story for the tabloids and should have no bearing on Dustin. Can't you find something better to write about. Times must be tough when you start digging for family dirt.”  - Fbooch

“Silverman your better than this!”  - CyekiM

“Disgusting....!!!! We care about this, why??? You two, "journalists" should have thrown this article out with the tabloid trash. Was this meant to embarrass Dustin? To embarrass his family?? To titilate [sic] the reader?? This has nothing to do with us, Red Sox Nation, it should have stayed in California, and you should have been smarter than the average idiot.”  - IrishCelts1

Is this story the stuff of check-out aisle tabloid rags or is it a news worthy piece? Even though it isn't pleasant, the latter assertion bears the truth.

While Dustin certainly is deserved of sympathy, the idea that this story is not news seems steeped in emotion rather than logic.  Fans of the Red Sox don’t want family troubles, or more to the point, the widespread knowledge of family troubles, to weigh on Pedroia’s mind and affect his season. He was part of the 2007 championship and there is an emotional attachment.

But this is not aliens in the back yard.  This is news of a crime, and a heinous one at that. The victimization of a child can and should never be swept under a carpet.

To be sure, most readers would never have heard this horrible story if it were not for the fact that the accused is the brother of a celebrity.  But it cannot be denied that the great benefits of celebrity come with potentially painful side effects.  When you’re in the public eye, things that happen to you and to those you care about become more interesting. 

It is also worth remembering that there is no established guilt at this stage, only charges.  Brett Pedroia will get his day in court.  Also, according to the Boston Herald, he and his brother had not spoken in years and were apparently not close.

Dustin Pedroia is a talented man, a hard worker, and a fan favorite.  But crimes against a child are news worthy, regardless of the details.  To say otherwise shows judgment clouded by emotions.