First off, I have both been investigated by and worked for Child Protective Services. I can be both their biggest advocate and critic.
But, they are a necessary evil.
Second, he did not answer her question, which had to do more with relationships, community, and distrust than CPS. CPS was just there to provide the backdrop to the scenario.
And this is the worst part:
Come to think of it, the logic is sweet: In the same way that a child protective agency is more or less compelled to investigate any complaint, so a newspaper reporter is more or less compelled to at least make a phone call to check out a tip.
Now, I'm kind of dumb about small town life. It may be that doing these things would make life too uncomfortable for you. If so, I would still suggest that, in order to understand what happened, you learn as much as you can about the social forces in American life that could lead to such a thing. And if I were you I would think seriously about moving to a more cosmopolitan area.
As my former journalist partner pointed out, no, a newspaper reporter is not compelled to check a tip. And they have no more access to things that are not a part of public record than you and I do.
And WTF, Cary? It really makes no difference where you live, rural, suburban or metropolitan. Child Protection is child protection. Read the letters and comments. They are much more eloquent than I.