On Friday I tried to aggregate various news reports to bring you up to date on what transpired at Sandy Hook Elementary School and just about everything the media reported, that I linked to, was wrong. Rather than take some time to reflect on their shoddy reporting, they set on the people of Newtown, CT like vultures. This community is grieving, the families are in mourning, and the media has turned it into a reality show. Every time I turn on the news – local news affiliates, Fox News – all of them, that’s all they’re covering. They have special music and graphics they’ve created just for this tragedy as their cameras zoom in on these grieving families.
Matt Lewis and John Hinderaker both recounted how many things the media got wrong, and how they should be ashamed. Interviewing young traumatized children and pinning the blame on an innocent man was the worst of it, but it was all shoddy. And what they’re doing now could very well be inspiring the next mass murderer, as Hinderaker noted.
The broader and more important question relates to the news media’s responsibility for Sandy Hook and similar incidents. As I wrote here, it seems rather obvious that mass murderers like Adam Lanza are inspired in part by a desire for fame, which our news media are happy to supply. That is why these incidents feed off one another, as we have seen in recent weeks. Newspaper editorialists demand that we engage in “soul-searching” after a mass murder like Sandy Hook, but why? You and I could search our souls forever and come up with no connection to the crime. But our newspapers and television stations really ought to search their souls and consider whether they are encouraging spectacular, deadly crimes, and if so, how they can reform their own conduct. (Read More)
I don’t expect the media to reform themselves, just like I don’t think Hollywood is going to end its glorification of violence. But I can turn them off and tune them out, and that’s what I’m doing. My children are aware of the horrific events that unfolded on Friday, the last thing they need are constant reminders of it.
My heart breaks for the families who lost loved ones, the parents who lost children, the whole community. I pray that they will find some form of comfort and peace during this horrible time, and that they will be allowed to bury their loved ones without millions of prying eyes watching as they mourn.