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Monday, July 23, 2012

Media's deficiencies on glaring display in Holmes case

  The news media's response when something horrendous happens is always appalling. 
  The victims get their own theme music and graphics.
  The audience is subjected to story after story of the aspirations of the deceased--those they left behind and the details of how they came to be at the ______(fill in the blank and, in this case, theater).
  The same gory details about the event are repeated hour after hour, including hand wringing and interviews with therapists, cops, sociologists, pundits and the lot.
  Most awful is the press's attempts to interview and then YouTube the family members of either the victims or the perpetrators. 
  These attempts are peeping tom snoops hoping to catch the person grieving or screaming or revealing something to the photogs and reporters camped outside homes, workplaces or hospital rooms.
  Sadly the tragedy is only deepened.
  The latest is the intrusion into the life of the mother of the Batman murderer. 
  ABC is arguing with the mother that she did indeed say, "You have the right person" in reference to her son when they called her early Friday morning ; she says she's referring to herself. Politico: 
[ABC News reporter Matthew] Mosk said today that he awoke Arlene Holmes and informed her that a man, he believed was her son had been arrested in Aurora and asked to confirm their relationship. 
"You have to tell me what happened… You have to tell me what happened," the woman on the phone said, according to Mosk. Mosk said he told her that ABC News had learned the 24-year-old had been identified by police as the lone suspect in the mass killing in Aurora, Colo and that the details of the events were still taking shape. 
"You have the right person," was her response, he said. "I need to call the police. I need to fly to Colorado." 
Just prior to the press conference, Damiani contacted ABC News to determine whether there existed a recording of the pre-dawn conversation between Mosk and her client, according to Mosk. 
One hour after learning there was no audio recording, Damiani held the conference and read Arlene Holmes' statement.
  Imagine being awakened with this news, confused and half asleep. 
  While you may argue that the family is guilty for not seeking help for a very ill individual, we do not know all the circumstances surrounding this terrible event. 
  The young man had lived away from home for some time; obviously the disease (whether organic or not) did not take hold overnight. He had nursed these attitudes for a long time.
  As a news organization, why would you want to put another family through this? It's not like ABC has a great deal of credibility after this latest fiasco, anyway.
  According to the above transcript, it would seem that she was indeed referring to herself and it seems, should be given the benefit of the doubt.
  Perhaps she is trying to mitigate liability. Still, one can only imagine the horror of what all these families are going through now.
  There will be plenty of time later to lay blame if Holmes's family was remiss; it's not like anything's really done about crazies or threats to the public safety anyway. Instead officials seem to prefer to search people who have to fly for treatment while wearing feeding tubes.
  It's not like this woman's running for president, claiming to be misunderstood.
  It's all too much.
  What's especially ghastly is the suspicion that James Holmes is in his glory right now. He tried very hard to protect himself during his attack; now he's enjoying the notoriety that comes with sudden fame, performing for the cameras.
  One would hope the media--the whole lot of them--would not give this monster any more attention. It's just what he craves and could very well be the reason he did what he did anyway.
  Getting on the news cycle any way you can is the new stardom, after all.


  1. amen. This really has gotten worse since 9-11. I remember then the speculation on other things terrorists could do to kill us all and we need to watch out for our produce being poisoned and dirty bombs and on and on. I remember thinking "shut up" Just stop all the blah, blah, blah. I mean can you at least make the terrorist think something up for themselves.
    Now with the shooting, I am hearing more about theater security!!!! Really? I mean I know there will be copy cats and restrictions coming ... But for gosh sakes.. you cannot predict every sick SOB and I hope we are not going to see the establishment of the "Theater Security Agency"..I mean I can't even sneak a can of soda in as it is...and what will happen when the Hobbit premieres? Are you telling me that we can't act like we are going to an entertainment establishment?
    I am stunned by what happened again at the hands of an complete Jack hole and I am saddened for the families of all the victims and those involved, but enough is enough... it has become the next reality show, except this is real... so act like it.. be respectful, don't say something you don't know and let people morn and bury their loved ones without the probing question" when you got the call about your ____ what was your 1st thought?
    Answer, "I wonder if ABC news will ask me my 1st thought, and then report my words correctly?"
    Real Answer,"Who are you? Get out of my face and my way...what is wrong with you?

  2. Hmmm. Theater Security Agency. Perhaps an extension of the Toilet Safety Administration?