I first caught sight of this one on MSNBC last night. An “investigative” “journalist” from LA got the shit beaten out of him by a woman and her husband after dogging them a little too relentlessly.
Evidently John Mattes was “investigating” the couple for suspected real estate scams when he got too close to Rosa Barraza, who began by confronting him and throwing water at the videographer. When Mattes persisted, she slapped him, whereupon Mattes told her that her behavior wasn’t “appropriate”. Barraza used invective to explain her feelings on that, and things deteriorated rapidly.
Mattes ended up fairly bloodied; after Barraza’s husband, Assad Suleiman, joined the fray, she got a paperweight and started flogging the “journalist” pretty soundly with it. Eventually LA’s Finest arrived and held Suleiman at gunpoint even though he was unarmed.
Barraza and Suleiman are out on bail now, and Mattes is probably unchastened.
While Barraza and Suleiman may or may not be guilty of real estate scams, the fact is that an “investigative” “journalist” is not a licensed private investigator nor an agent of law enforcement, and therefore the behavior of such creatures — which is often on the edge of unconscionable — is at best invasion of privacy. Incessant dogging of private individuals in the name of securing a sensationalistic story is vile and appeals only to the basest of emotions.
Hopefully Mattes will serve as a warning to other “investigative” “journalists”. If, in the name of getting a “scoop”, you have the tar knocked out of you for harrassment, maybe you damned well had it coming.
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