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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Kids At Tragedies: Turn Off The Cameras

Whatever the ultimate casualty count at Sandy Hook Elementary School, every student there Friday was a victim. These kids—10 years old, 5 years old—had been through an experience ghastlier than most adults have ever survived.

Minutes after they made it to safety outside the school, having heard and seen unspeakable things, cable, network and local TV crews were waiting to interview them, live on camera, about things a kid should never have to talk about. Flanked by their parents, boys and girls too young to see an R-rated movie described being hustled to safety as bullets whizzed by them in the halls of their school.

It was arresting. It was heartbreaking. And it was rash, unnecessary and wrong. There is no good journalistic reason to put a child at a mass-murder scene on live TV, permission of the parents or not. There’s not even a bad-but-practical reason to do it, beyond getting buzz and adding “color” to a story. No one learned anything they couldn’t have from talking to people off-camera and privately.


Anonymous said...

I have sent comments and emails to different news orgs to stop with the constant coverage of this tragedy.

I know they have a job to do and they did it.

Now back off and let the survivors begin to heal. Let US begin to heal.

Seeing the shooters face sickens me.

Seeing the children's faces and the teachers faces makes me very very sad. I cannot look at them.

I also cannot read their names.

What that killer did was more than taking 27 (refuse to count him) lives.

He has changed those children, the town, the adults, this country and the whole world.

It has changed me. For how long, who knows.

When I was reading about that story I got out my pistol and started cleaning it. I wanted to go to Conn. and kill him myself. I don't know if I have ever hated someone as much as I hated him. I still do but it has simmered down now.

My point being, we all need a break from hearing and seeing about this massacre. We don't need to be reminded every waking moment.

Leave those people alone. And leave us alone. We all need to heal.

Anonymous said...

I have mixed feelings on what you said 4:27. I think for some of the children and their families as well as the families of the murdered children some find sharing their stories as therapeutic. "A burden shared is a burden halved" type of mentality is present is some survivors. An example is Darrell (sp?) Scott whose daughter Rachel was murdered in Columbine has found some measure of comfort in sharing Rachel's story and continues to this day to memorialize her as does his son, who was also in the high school that day but survived.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind the adults giving interviews but what kind of parent puts their traumatized 6 year old on tv for an interview on the most horrific day of their life. Yes, it is good for kids to talk about what happened to them ...TO THEIR FAMILY AND FRIENDS!!!...not to tv crews. Jeez!

Anonymous said...

9:58, agreed. I think some of the parents who let their kids talk on TV were just so shell-shocked they couldn't think to say "no." Or maybe they thought it would help other parents who weren't in touch with their children yet to know what the kids were seeing. Or maybe the parent of one boy just wanted to let him praise the teacher who saved him.

But I think in hindsight, the media has to show some restraint and not put the adults or those kids in that position in the heat of the moment. It's really just taking advantage of them at the most awful vulnerable time.

Anonymous said...

An unbelievably uplifting interview on Anderson Cooper's (CNN) show last night with the parents of murder victim Grace McDonnell. I'm sure it can be found online and I would suggest everyone watch it. I felt like an extreme heaviness and the sadness and anger I've been feeling about this shooting lifted and carried away.