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Disgraceful Media Exploits Child Witnesses of Connecticut Elementary Shooting
The media is at it again. Not only does it appear that they incorrectly identified the shooter’s Facebook page, thereby putting an innocent person at risk, but they are interviewing the children from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Hearing the voice of a child, who clearly doesn’t understand what’s happened, describe these horrors is surreal. I’m sure that’s what they’re counting on. Good ratings.
Asking 1st graders what it’s like to be shot at, as cable news networks are doing, is wildly inappropriate. It sensationalizes blood, horror, terror, and violent, premature death for ratings. This is part of the larger problem contributing to our culture of violence. It needs to stop immediately.
The media needs to talk to their parents, teachers, anyone else; they do not need to talk to the kids. The kids are witnesses and may be interviewed by police- isn’t that bad enough?
They are little kids. They’ve already been through something unspeakable. They will never forget this day. They don’t get to be kids like they should be. They will know sudden loss and the terror of knowing that bad things happen to good people for no reason, way before they should.
They do not need to have their sound bites made famous on this day.
They should be protected by their parents, teachers, and all adults, including the media. Not used for ratings. The country does not need to hear from any child directly – they can get the gist of what happened from the adults. There is no reason to interview a child. NONE.
– Unless you’re just a cheap whore using tragedy for ratings.
People keep asking me why I won’t discuss the gun laws or policy related issues today. This is part of the reason – there are too many questions, too many uncertainties, and too much emotion. I am not afraid to wade into gun laws on the day of a tragic shooting. I’ve done it before.
I don’t think it will serve any purpose today. I don’t think I could do it responsibly without a better picture of what happened, for a variety of reasons. I think the issue is much bigger than just gun laws. And I don’t think anything should detract from the horror of this day.
The horror must be faced first. It must be stared in the face and acknowledged. It must be digested. Because there is something rotten in our culture, and it’s larger than our gun laws, though it’s fed by a culture that equate guns with power.
As we watch how this tragedy is being used by the media, perhaps we can begin to understand why we never have meaningful discussions about our culture of violence. Violence pays. Violence distracts. Violence intimidates.
Notice the failures of adults. Notice how we do not protect our children. Notice how we treat even this unspeakable tragedy with the cavalier disregard of a reality TV show, interviewing children so we can hear their innocent, sing-song voices describe terror. Notice how there is nothing that money/ratings can’t excuse.
More than the gun laws, it is this that is destroying this country; a fundamental failure of societal values. A failure to value our children, and all that nurturing them properly and preparing them for adulthood really entails.
What we have here is a failure of the character of a nation. We need to do some serious soul searching.