Sunday, April 22, 2007

Enough

Last week's happenings gave me pause. Not only the shootings, but the reaction around the country. The bodies were still warm, and the facts still hazy, when the television announcers were clamoring for someone to blame. Mere hours after the shooting Sean Hannity was defending gun rights. I wondered to myself, with not a little irritation, why he would already be on that bandwagon. Sure enough, when I next opened a web browser, the homepage's news headline box linked the shootings to gun control. I was so disgusted with the coverage and politicization of a massacre that for a day or two I tried my best to avoid any news of it. Finally, I watched a "special" news program dedicated to the tragedy. I hoped to get some information, some facts about what happened. Instead, I was treated to a round of sensationalism, cryptic sound bites, and far too much speculation for any respectable journalist. It was disgusting. It was disappointing. The media is often criticized, sometimes unfairly so. But this time they truly failed.

With each new soundbite and headline the same line repeated in my head: Let us grieve. Over thirty people were killed and within hours of it happening it had become a media circus of assigning blame and playing politics. Enough already! Let people be sad.

3 comments:

Democracy Lover said...

You are so right about the media failure here. It's rare to find a story where the media has been successful lately in giving us the information we really need rather than sound bites, sensationalism, and rampant speculation.

Even when they try to get in touch with the grief, you cringe watching them try to get the victims to relive the incident or answer inane "How did you feel when you first heard?" questions.

After a few days of grief and investigation, it would be appropriate to begin looking at why this happened and what we can do to prevent another incident. The gun lobby is in hyperdrive to make sure that no one concludes that restricting firearms purchases to known sociopaths is a problem. That's sickening. They know better.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

You know, Cameron, you and I have disagreed a whole lot. On this one, however, you and I are in TOTAL AGREEMENT. Thanks for your voice on this. I had a hard week last week, and the whole VT thing has just made it all that much worse. I honestly am angry at both liberals and conservatives who want to use this horrible incident to advance whatever pet project they might have. I think such ghoulish behavior is horrible.

neonprimetime said...

Agreed, Agreed, and Agreed.