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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

The bigger issue here...

One of the things a hopeless news addict from birth like me uses to distract from the thought of 20 first graders dead is what an utter mess the media has made of this tragedy.

First it was Ryan, then it was Adam.
First mom was a teacher, then she wasn't.
First she was dead at home, then at the school, then back at home.
First dad was dead, then he's fine.
First the .223 was in the car, then it was the sole weapon.
First there was an altercation at the school days before, then the day before, then it never happened.
First, it was how did he slip in? Now, he shot out a doorglass.
For a while, there was a mysterious man caught in the parking lot, who said, "I didn't do it!"  Now there is no one.
Oh, we won't show a picture until it's confirmed... oh, it's on-screen?  Then it must be confirmed.  This is the guy that did it...what? Oh, wait, that's his brother.
A whole class of kindergartners are unaccounted for... no, wait, it's first graders.

It would almost be hard to believe, but then last night we watched the annoying Judge Jeannie Pirro on Fox announce she was about to interview a young man who raced to the school when he heard shots.  Only thing was, as we found out in between her incessant interruptions, that he had not got to the school (had to stay at the perimeter with everyone else) and never heard the shots (a neighbor heard the shots and called his mom).

Years ago, Phil Hartman was in an SNL skit where he rushed in as "Officer Blowing-Things-Out-Of-All -Proportion".  Nowadays, it's "Reporter-Blowing-It-Out-Of-All-Proportion."  And it's easy to see how.  One hears a rumour.  They jump on it without any research.  "Where did you hear it?  Who was there? How do they know?"  Those are the questions they should ask, but these days everything they hear is filtered through "what will the sound bite be?"  Another example from last night was Judge Jeannie announcing at a commercial break: "Next, how he got into the school"- which was in fact answered later (and on another channel).  But when she came back, she merely interviewed a neighboring town's police chief whom she grilled about what kind of security proceedures schools had.  I walked away (literally) wondering if she's this kind of newsperson, what the hell kind of judge was she?

And it's not limited to news media.  FB et al has been a battleground for gun-control vs. Second Amendment, God being pushed out of schools, and people wanting their ten minutes of fame by putting up and sharing photoshopped pictures of the tragedy with some pithy remark attached.  Here's one I'll share with you, that a relative posted (and I mentioned in the comments section of the last post):

To which I replied:

Before you post things like that handgun pic, you should do some research. Each of those nations have differences in populations. Assuming the figures posted are right, which is hard to do since there IS no West Germany anymore, I compared the numbers to the populations and got the percentage of deaths per pop for each nation. Israel was first at 7.46, followed by Germany at 5.86, Switzerland at 4.29, Japan at 3.75, USA 3.46, Sweden 2.22, Canada 1.5, and Great Britain at 1.28. Not as bad as you thought, are we?

To which my relative replied that he MISREAD the picture and is a firm supporter of the Second Amendment.

You see, every one of us from the news media on down is shooting off their mouth about what they "think" but there are too many who simply ARE NOT thinking.  Everyone wants the latest info first- and I am no exeption.  Which is why I haven't tried to post the facts of the case anywhere.  I wasn't there, and even the best news sources have been suspect.

And all of it distracts from what is important.  The families of twenty-six people have need of comfort, and the family of one has to figure out what the hell they did wrong that allowed this to happen.  Or as a wise friend put to poetry this morning:

Because the real issue here,
is not found in guns or protocol.
The bigger issue here,
Is how a killer is made at all?


  1. Awe... you did see it. :) I have shut off the news media... I do not know the name of the person who did this and do not care to know his name.

    I care to know the name Victoria Soto. She was a teacher who shielded the kids with her own body before he gunned her down and moved on. SHE is someone to be remembered.

  2. What's sad is, I would almost find this funny if it wasn't so freakin' true. My son called from a college campus last year. Since you are a news junkie, you will figure it out and I prefer you don't disclose where, and said there was a gunman on campus. That part was true. The gunman shot someone. True. It caused a lockdown and all students were now required to hunker down and find shelter - my son was hiding under a desk per his commander's instructors (ROTC). Now he's without any type of media and all communication jammed because of high volume so we had to use Facebook to communicate via his cell and that lagged, meanwhile, I was using the news and guess what - they were all so busy trying to be the first ones to report something; they got it wrong and I was relaying the wrong information to my scared kid, huddled underneath a desk. Typical. But, I suppose it was my own fault for trusting in them.

    1. I'm guessing he'd probably have gotten true info before we would have.

  3. Journalism 101:
    Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?


    1. Exactly. As we well know in Ft Wayne thanks to the Media Maven blog, Journalism 101 is no longer a required course for news people.

  4. Cwm:
    Again, you demonstrate a wonderfully well-reasoned commentary.
    And I agree.

    I also had to turn of the, because I KNEW the conjecture would be INCESSANT.
    I figure if any NEW developments surfaced, that would come to light...which it has to some degree, and will continue to do so as the FACTS come out.
    Anything other than that warrants little time from me.
    That does not diminish MY feelings over the loss of the parents and families in CT.
    An armed, law-abiding citizen is a free person.
    An unarmed person is little more than a victim.

    Excellent post and comments.

    Stay safe up there.

  5. I was watching the news throughout the day after it happened, and I couldn't believe it either. "Breaking news: the shooter has been absolutely confirmed as Ryan Lanza!" And then... it's not. People will do anything for a story, and it's amazing what the news will report as a 'fact.' It's like that word doesn't mean anything anymore.

    1. Yes, I imagine we should have suspected when they put up Ryan's pic even as the reporter was saying they wouldn't put it up until it was confirmed. Perhaps he was one sane voice amongst the idiocy. But at least on Fox we didn't have to hear gun-control proponants and their incessant, "See? See?"

  6. You're right! Perhaps they should focus more on the people with issues not the guns! What's the saying... "guns don't kill people, people kill people"? He could have walked in and sliced some necks with hatchets... It's not the guns fault the person holding it was unstable!!

    1. And so sad that a) his problems SHOULD have been obvious and b)they had all the resources to help him.