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Indybay Feature
Fri Aug 29 2014 (Updated 09/02/14)
Ex-Santa Cruz Patch Editor Now Selling Pepper Spray to Senior Citizens
Fri Aug 29 2014 (Updated 09/02/14)
Journalist Brad Kava Attempts to Use Media Hype to Cash-in on Crime with 'Cane-O-Mite'
Former Santa Cruz Patch editor Brad Kava, who is still a journalism teacher at Cabrillo College, is now selling a device he invented that offers senior citizens the ability to secure a pepper spray can to their canes. He has named it: "Cane-O-Mite." It is essentially a holster for pepper spray and, the Indiegogo campaign and Youtube video produced to market it, Kava preys on the fears of the elderly. He cites an increase in news reporting on crime as a justification in his sales pitch for the product, saying "everyone who follows the news knows how bad it [crime against senior citizens] can get."

Ted Smith writes: The invention of the product is a "fear mongering" approach to dealing with issues of public safety, and is yet another American appeal to increase weapon sales and the use of violence. "My first thought was to build a whole cane with pepper spray inside," Kava writes in his sales pitch. A more insidious aspect of all of this, however, is the journalism reference Kava used to justify the need for the product.

In the Cane-O-Mite description he writes: "I was visiting my disabled father in Florida and saw so many people carrying canes and using walkers who looked like easy victims for criminals...The fear was palpable and everyone who follows the news knows how bad it can get. People are so afraid, they are "standing their ground" with guns." Kava is using media-hype, the same variety he created for the Santa Cruz Patch, as a justification for the need for the product he is selling. As a former journalist and current journalism teacher, this is ethically questionable.

imc_photo.gifRead More with Photos | See Also: Santa Cruz Patch to Shut Down
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