Friday, December 14, 2012

Carnage In Connecticut


It is not often that I will praise anything written in the Left Angeles Times. And much less from one James Rainey. But here, on this occasion, he addresses the main thrust of this post. The poor reportage of the media in misidentifying the the killer. The internet and social media are truly great tools, but that does not replace the point that facts need to always be corroborated by at least a second source. Especially in situations such as this. And before anyone goes off blaming Fox News or anything like that, numerous media got it wrong and all over the spectrum. Mr. Rainey's article is worth the read.

Good Lord Almighty.
What can I or anyone else say about this horrible crime that took place today in Newtown, Connecticut?
Look, we know that the left is already salivating and pushing gun control and the right is saying not so fast.
That is for another day and time.
However, I believe that, once again, the media committed gross media malpractice in trying to get the story out and for some, to be first.
For hours, the media reported that the shooting rampage was done by one Ryan Lanza. Yet it was not RYAN Lanza, but his brother, ADAM Lanza that killed 28 people, his mother and himself.
Why is that important? I mean, so they got a name wrong, no big deal because the story was running fast and furious?
Well, no matter how fast and furious a story is breaking, it is always, always important to get important facts such as who committed the act right. Thus, it should not have been reported that the shooter was Ryan Lanza when it was his younger brother Adam that committed the dastardly deed.
If there is one thing that I learned in journalism classes and has stuck with me is why the what, when, why, who and how is important in every story. And how important it is to have multiple verification of information before going public with it.
Remember the Aurora, Colorado movie house shooting? Remember when the name James Holmes was announced? Well the first James Holmes that ABC news reporter Brian Ross picked out of his rump was one connected with the Tea Party political movement. And he reported it on the air. Yet he did not act with due diligence as it turned out the James Holmes was a mentally ill graduate college student.
Now many people will point out, and I do think that this may be true, that Mr. Ross focused on a potential Tea Party angle in an effort to discredit the conservative political movement. But whatever the case, an innocent man's reputation was at the very least tarnished and possibly something more negative than that.
Same for Ryan Lanza.
As it turns out, Adam Lanza somehow had identification that he was Ryan Lanza on his person.
But again, how did it get reported and reported wrong in the first place?
And this leads to another criticism that I have about reporting blatant criminal activity.
The use of the word tragedy over murder.
Usually, I do not like that kind of wording but this story, well it is different.
Twenty children, a whole classroom, were murdered in cold blood by Adam Lanza. Because it was elementary school children, yes it does make it  a horrific tragedy.
In this case, it is correct to use the word tragedy. Yet it should be also reported accurately that this was an act of murder. That a young man, whether or not he had a mental disability problem, did have the presence of mind to kill his mother in cold blood, steal her car, drive to the school that she taught at and kill the school principal, several other adults and the 20 children. This man, Adam Lanza murdered 27 people before killing himself.
So I would suggest that while the culprit of this act is dead, let us not simply refer to his crime as a tragedy. It cheapens the fact that he committed murder of defenseless, innocent people.
And now I have other thoughts.
No parent get their kids ready in the morning for school and thinks that it is possibly the last time that they will see their kid alive. No doubt these parents, husbands and wives, did not think that when they said goodbye and went off on their day.
Yet in the span of several minutes, one deranged individual killed people and ruined countless lives.
It is why I utterly believe that we should always remind the people closest to us that we love them. In my case, I always tell Mrs. RVFTLC every day as I leave for work that I love her. And in most of our e-mail correspondence to each other, the same thing. These kind of events remind me even more how important that is.
It is also very, very important for all of us to take a deep breath, mourn for those dead and those left behind and not spout off on how this could have been prevented.
There is a time and place for that but no way and not in the hours and immediate days of this murderous rampage.
And one more last thought.
Hold on to your hats, but I thought the statement from President Obama he gave at the White House was not only appropriate but clearly that of a caring, loving father.There was nothing political in it. I felt that this one was from the heart. I think it important enough to leave you with this video link to see it.
May God bless those lost. May God bless those left behind. May God bless Nancy Lanza. May God bless the people of Newtown, Connecticut.

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